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Damian Lillard On If Being In Portland Makes It Harder To Attract Free Agents: “Bruh, People Going To Oklahoma City..."

Damian Lillard

Over 9 seasons with the Portland Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard hasn't had a whole lot of luck recruiting talent to the franchise. Many believe it's the location of the franchise itself that holds Dame back from playing with elite-level talent.

But in a chat with Draymond Green on his podcast, the 6x All-Star refused to blame the city as the reason for why potential free agents are running.

"People going to Oklahoma City, bruh. No offense but people going to Oklahoma City and people going to Milwaukee. People are going places and Portland ain't what people think it is. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been living here this long. If you just couldn't live here, I wouldn't be living here this long So, I think that's part of it but at the end of the day, people are going places that's like 'you went there?' Melo went to OKC. When we was trying to get Melo to come here. Ask Melo where he would go, ask him where he would go first."

Dame has only played with one All-Star over his entire career, which contrasts greatly to other stars like Steph Curry, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and James Harden.

To Lillard, it's the path of least resistance that has others players avoiding the Blazers.

"People that play the game with me, I don't play the game selfishly. I don't operate selfishly. I want to see everybody having their way. I want to see everybody getting to be happy, do that thing. And even on the court, I don't get in the way of that. I know how to do me without getting in the way of everybody else having an opportunity. I'm not holding on to the ball until I can get an assist or a shot and all that. I'm passing ahead. I ain't walking around the facility and everywhere trying to run everything and have everything my way. I play fair. When you consider all those things, like c'mon man. That can't be the reason. It's like sometimes, honestly, it looks like which route is the easiest."

The Blazers are undergoing a major rebuild for the first time in years. They traded CJ McCollum, Robert Covington, Larry Nance Jr., and Norman Powell for practically nothing, freeing up their books and creating some flexibility for the offseason.

Hopefully, a top-tier free agent gets drawn to Portland and finally gives Dame the help he so clearly deserves.

If not, it could be more of the same for Dame and the unlucky franchise.