Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard had been the subject of trade rumors this offseason and will likely to be as the 2018-2019 season get underway, but he would prefer to stay with the Blazers for his entire career, according to The Athletic’s Michael Scotta.
“That would be an honor to be a lifetime Blazer,” Damian Lillard said at the NBA 2K launch in New York.
“Not a lot of guys get to play for one organization for their entire career. Obviously, I love playing for the Blazers. I love living in the city. I feel like I’ve established a connection with the people and the culture of the city just as much as I’ve done on the basketball court, so that’s important. But, as we know, it’s a business and a lot of times organizations have other plans, and sometimes players change their stance on that. But to be a lifetime Blazer, that would be great. I’m all on board for it.”
Lillard also enjoys playing with his close friend and teammate CJ McCollum, and knows that their chemistry to key to the success of the team while also realizing the Blazers need more than that to win.
“I think as far as me and CJ, our friendship is so strong that it allows us to play really well together on the court, and we get our job done every night,” Lillard continued. “But when you talk about winning the championship and competing in the playoffs against teams like Golden State, Houston and San Antonio and all those guys, it’s a group effort. We’ve all got to be able to count on each other to compete at that level. Our team, we’ve got a lot of guys that care and a lot of guys that work hard. We’ve just got to keep improving.”
Sixers’ Jimmy Butler Says It’s Not All About the Money, Says He is a Good Teammate
Despite a tumultuous end to his tenure with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Jimmy Butler is excited to show the Philadelphia 76ers what a good teammate he can be, saying this he is not chasing a big contract next offseason.
“It’s not. I already got enough money to have me and my family for the rest of my life. It’s not about the money,” Butler said during his 76ers introductory press conference,according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “I’ve got to be able to love where I’m at and have a great chance to win a championship.”
Butler also stated that despite the drama in Minnesota, he is a good teammate.
“I don’t think I’m a bad teammate, but people get whatever they want to say out,” Butler continued. “I think I’m an incredible human being, teammate, and I will show that to the guys here.
“You really wouldn’t know who I am unless you’re around me every day,” Butler added. “And for the most part, that’s why I don’t worry too much about what everybody says. If you know me and you’re around me, you know my heart. You know how I go about what I go about.
“I love my teammates,” Butler said. “I don’t think there are too many of them that will tell you I’m a bad teammate.”
Butler’s stay in Philly will be interesting to see unfold, and it will be interesting to see if Butler ends up inking a long term contract with the Sixers next summer.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) November 13, 2018
Kings’ De’Aaron Fox Talks About Team’s Confidence
The Sacramento Kings are off to a surprising start to the season, and point guard De’Aaron Fox says that he and his teammates are entering each and every game this season with confidence and a winning mentality.
“We’re going into every game this year feeling like we can win,” Fox said, according to NBC Sports. “And when you go into games with that confidence, you start seeing shots go in, energy picks up, and you have a ball game.
“People are starting to take notice,” Fox added. “They’re saying (Sacramento) is not an easy win if we play you at home or on the road. We just come out and play our game. We feel like if we can play fast, then it definitely gives us a chance to win.”
Nets’ Kenny Atkinson Discusses Caris LeVert’s Injury
One of the unfortunate headlines to come out of the NBA on Tuesday night was the brutal injury sustained by Brooklyn Nets top scorer Caris LeVert, who suffered a gruesome right leg injury with 0.3 seconds remaining in the first half after trying to contain a Josh Okogie drive during their game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
LeVert had to be stretchered off the court, and the injury left many players and fans covering their faces and emotional as they watched him receive medical attention on the court.
“He’s the heart and soul of our program,” Atkinson said, according to Greg Logan of Newsday. “Really tough blow. I feel for him. He’s had a fantastic start to the season. He’s obviously made a huge jump. I just know Caris — if anybody’s coming back from this, knowing the human, the character, the person, the player, he’ll come back from this. Tough, tough blow for the Nets.”
“Our only thoughts are with him. Nothing else matters. The game doesn’t matter tonight. That’s it.”
Teammates such as Nets’ point guard DeAngelo Russell also commented on the injury.
“I saw right away what it was and tried to erase it from memory as soon as I could, but it doesn’t work like that,” Russell said. “It’s something that hurts. It’s hard to speak about.
“You don’t want to see anybody get hurt, but for us to see our brother go down that we practice with every day, that we’re on flights with every day, it’s devastating to the stomach. We can put up our prayers for him and step up and try to build off of it.”
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