Portland Trailblazers guard Damian Lillard has missed the last three All-Star games and admits he has gotten used to being left out.
But, he is also expressing his frustration with the constant All-Star snubs and has gotten used to not being a part of the NBA’s All-Star game.
“I’ve gotten frustrated just for the fact that it feels like I always got to be the fall guy and every other guy has been deserving,” Lillard said in an interview with ESPN.
“In the past, the thing has been, ‘All right, my team has been 10 games under .500 or not in the playoffs,’ but every year we’ve found a way to be in the postseason, and this year I think we’re in much better position than we have been in the past two seasons that I didn’t make it. I think I’ve gotten over the emotional part of it the last few times that I didn’t make it. Now I’m kind of like expecting it to go that way, but I feel like I should be there.”
“(Ball) plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, one of the most, if not the most, storied franchises in that big of a market,” Lillard explained to ESPN. “So, so many people are going to support him throughout that, and also with his dad and all the attention that’s been surrounding him since college. There’s a lot of people that follow him, so, that’s not really a surprise to me. The market size and what’s going on with his family, it’s no surprise really to me.”
Lillard’s numbers speak volumes as he is averaging 25 points per game along with 6.5 assists and a marked improvement on the defensive side of the ball.
Blazers’ Damian Lillard Talks About Jusuf Nurkic’s Trash-Talking
Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic was the subject of some recent chatter after he engaged in trash-talking with Philadelphia 76ers floor general Ben Simmons, with some of it clipped on video that circulated social media.
Nurkic’s teammate, Damian Lillard, says that the big man is always talking, as it’s a part of his game.
“He always just talks some s**t,” Lillard said with a grin, according to Michael Lee of The Athletic.
“Every day, it’s like most of his comments is slick comments and half the time, he don’t even mean it to be a slick comment. I think it’s just that foreign misunderstanding sometimes. To where he’s just saying something but he talking s**t. I appreciate him being himself. He’s a really honest, emotions-on-his-sleeve type of person and you need those kind of people around. So, maybe it brings that more out of people, like, it’s OK, to say how you feel. And express how you feel.”
Nurkic appears to give the Blazers some intensity, and an edge, on the floor and if Simmmons’ is any example, it’s an example of how Nurkic can get into the heads of opposing players.
Blazers Acquire Rodney Hood
Hood heads over to Portland for a pair of 2nd round picks, one in 2021 and another in 2023, Nik Stauskas, and Wade Baldwin, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“Rodney is an accomplished NBA player that brings versatility, shot making and depth to our perimeter and will fit seamlessly into our culture and style of play,” Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey said in an official team statement.
Hood, 26, has poured in 12.2 points, 2.5 rebounds and two assists per game this season for Cleveland.
Hood had to agree to the trade because he signed a one-year, $3.4 million qualifying offer last summer with Cleveland, which granted him veto rights.
Blazers Planning to Aggressively Pursue Additional Star Player
The Portland Trail Blazers may not be selling at the trade deadline, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t be active.
According to Basketball Insiders Steve Kyler, Portland may be a darkhorse team to watch in the Anthony Davis sweepstakes, but while that may seem unlikely to fall into play, he reports that the team is planning to aggressively pursue another star player.
The Blazers hope to land another star to pair with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
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