Damian Lillard is annoyed by people's comments on Charles Barkley one of the best players to ever play the game but who couldn't win a ring during his entire career. Chuck was pretty close, especially in 1993, when he faced some guy named Michael Jordan, who ruined his plans to lift the Larry O'Brien trophy.
Chuck retired ringless and considered one of the best players to never won a 'chip but in recent times, he's earned criticism for that even though he was one of the best big men of his era. Well, Lillard isn't a fan of that and recently made the case for Chuck, defending him while agreeing that the media pushes teams to 'buy championships' the way the Brooklyn Nets are doing right now.
During a recent interview on ESPN's Jalen & Jacoby, the Portland Trail Blazers star was asked if he agreed with Julius Erving's comments on the Nets and their strategy to win this season. As to what he replied (2:30):
“I think that’s just the era that we are in…. A lot of the media outlets are to blame for that. We talk about the guys that don’t win a ring. Look how they talk about Charles Barkley, who was a legend. This dude was cold, was an MVP, number one in the West. He just happened to lose to Jordan. You got these dudes putting so much pressure on everybody. ‘Oh he did this, he did that…but he didn’t win a ring.’”
This practice didn't sit well with a lot of people around the league. Just when the era of superteams appeared to have ended, the Nets built a team with James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Kyrie Irving while adding good veterans like Blake Griffin and the recently-retired LaMarcus Aldridge.
Right now, players are showing their desire to win and they're willing to do anything to accomplish their goal. Dame has shown his loyalty to the Portland Trail Blazers over and over again and it's unlikely we'll see him taking that route. But as he said, that's the path that some players have been forced to take with all the pressure of winning.