In his first comments since Chauncey Billups was hired as head coach, Blazers superstar Damian Lillard addressed the hiring and the ongoing speculation regarding his future in Portland. “Words (are) being put in my mouth when I haven’t said anything (about wanting to be traded),” Lillard told the media, following a Team USA practice in Las Vegas.
Here’s Dames take on the trade talk over the past month:
"It's a lot of things being said, sometimes words being put in my mouth when I haven't said anything. It's been a lot of talk. I don't really have nothing to say to you guys about it.”pic.twitter.com/N15Djss59i
— 🅵🅾🆁🆃🅷🅴🅵🅰🅽🆂 🎙 (@503Blazerfans) July 8, 2021
Despite continued questions about whether the point guard will seek a trade, he seemed content to run it back with Portland: “I’m prepared to go in and do my job every year like I always do. Hopefully we make strides in a positive direction, and we can become a better team with a new coach. That’s where I am with it.”
Lillard then addressed the controversial hiring of Chauncey Billups, who had previously been linked to allegations of sexual assault, as head coach: “I was asked about names that had been floated out there. I said I like [Jason] Kidd, I like Chauncey. At that time, I didn’t have any idea of [the past sexual assault allegation]. When I did learn of it and the process continued, I never felt like it was my job or my duty to say, ‘Do this or don’t do this.’ I do my job, I improve my game, and I show up as a point guard of the team.”
He then made it known that he did not play a role in the hiring: “In the past, I’ve never stepped on anybody’s toes or demanded anything or told anybody what to do and it was no different in this situation. That’s all I can really say.”
Lillard and Team USA open up Olympic exhibition play Saturday against Nigeria.