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Damian Lillard is on his way out of Portland and his pending exit may be messier than expected.
The Trail Blazers’ best player reportedly requested a trade this week, after 11 years with the franchise.
Lillard waited for the Blazers to build a championship-caliber team worth his superb talent… after the team failed to trade for an All-Star and drafted Scoot Henderson with the third overall pick, Lillard decided he’s ready to play for a new team … which is already rubbing fans in Portland the wrong way.
Is The Relationship Between Portland, Damian Lillard Sour?
News of Lillard’s trade request also included a reported desire to go to the Miami Heat. While the report has yet to be corroborated by Lillard, fans are taking the news like a pre-meditated move, prompting questions about Lillard’s loyalty after all those years.
Is it delusional? Yes, but Lillard’s trade request did come as a shock to many.
Lillard addressed his scorned fans/skeptics on Twitter on Sunday. He pushed against the backlash, asking Portland fans if he sold them a fake vision by wanting to leave the doomed franchise after 11 seasons.
One Portland fan tweeted, “Very surprised to see the number of fans turning on Lillard today. I can’t blame him for wanting a change. The previous regime failed to build a legit team around him, and the current chose to go young and rebuild. I would guess this is the desired result by [Joe] Cronin and his staff.”
Lillard responded, “It’s in my blood to take the high road. I’d love to hear what fans are turning on… have I mislead them? Or anyone ? Fill me in.”
As a premier point guard, Lillard is gaining massive attention from NBA teams.
The Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly interested in trading for Lillard.
It’ll be interesting to see if Lillard and his longtime team will convene and pick his preferred destination after spending a decade together.