Damian Lillard is known as one of the most loyal players in the league, and there is no question that when he retires, he will be viewed as one of the greatest players to ever suit up for the Portland Trail Blazers.
There is no doubt that superstars like Damian Lillard are rare in this era where players can simply request trades and try to find new franchises to play for. Not long ago, Kevin Durant requested a trade despite having four years left on his contract, with his preferred destinations being the Phoenix Suns and the Miami Heat.
Recently, Damian Lillard has taken a shot at players who switch teams, claiming that the "pride" for the "name on the front" is "something that's missing in our league". This stance is similar to sentiments Damian Lillard expressed previously, and being someone that is committed to being loyal to one franchise is very respectable.
“Something that’s missing in our league, the passion, the pride, not just for the name on the back but the name on the front.”
There's no doubt that moving can heighten a player's chance at winning a championship, and winning with the team one was drafted to is something that very few players accomplish. However, it can undoubtedly be done, and we saw Giannis Antetokounmpo win with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021, and Stephen Curry won with the Golden State Warriors in 2022.
The Portland Trail Blazers made some good additions to their squad in the offseason, adding Jerami Grant to their roster and drafting high-level prospect Shaedon Sharpe with the No. 7 pick. They also gave Anfernee Simons a 4-Year, $100 million contract extension, which is fair, considering he is one of the best young combo guards in the league.
Hopefully, we see Damian Lillard bring the Portland Trail Blazers back to the playoffs next season. Loyalty is Damian Lillard's defining trait as a superstar, and we'll see if it pays off in the future.