If he doesn’t win a title, Damian Lillard will be up there with Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, and Stockton & Malone as one of the greatest players never to win a title. As great as those names are, that’s the one list you don’t want to join them on. Unlike those guys, Dame is playing in an era where that problem has an “obvious” solution, but he doesn’t see it as a solution at all.
“If that’s what they wanna do, I got no problem with it. For me, personally, that’s just not something I can do. I’d rather go out there, put my best foot forward and lose than do that. Because I know I can win if I do that. We supposed to win. If we get on the same team, and we the best players – then we supposed to win.”Damian Lillard, Million Dollaz Worth of Game
KD, Harden, and Kyrie are supposed to win. If they do, it’s what’s expected. If they don’t, it’s an utter failure. But looking at it from an individual’s perspective, winning it all means you can say ‘I’m the best.’ You went through the trials and tribulations of building a team, there were some severe losses on the way, and then you went up against the best of the best and won.
Flying from Golden State and Boston to team up in Brooklyn, and then manufacturing a trade for the third guy from Houston? In the grand scheme of things, it seems like the fans at OKC, Cleveland (until LeBron showed up), and Houston had to take the pain so the fans in Brooklyn can have a parade, and that just feels wrong.
We’ve heard Adam Silver talk about it, and almost every coach in the NBA says it’s their no.1 challenge coaching – your average player in 2021 spends too much time on social media being frustrated about their status. NBA players never made more money and had more fans, yet they are all miserable. The plague of social media and vanity is stronger than ever.
“I think that’s why you see a lot of players jumping teams, teaming up with other players, because of the pressure of the media, and the standard they’re putting out there. Like ‘This person don’t got a ring,’ and how they talk crazy about Charles Barkley on TV, like he ain’t Charles Barkley, because he didn’t win a ring.”Damian Lillard, Million Dollaz Worth of Game
Dame kept it real and said he would try and recruit great players to come to Portland. It’s not like he’s trying to win with four bench guys to prove a point. We’ve heard Lillard talk about this in the past, and his story hasn’t changed.
The comment he made about the media I found new and insightful. I want to make a distinction here. Apart from First Take and similar shows, most old school media isn’t just ring counting. The discourse that’s creating such an environment is mostly coming from new media – Twitter, Facebook, and such. A lot of superficial fans are making it seem like we don’t appreciate guys who never won a ring.
For one, I can say that’s not true, and if he never wins a ring, Damian Lillard will still be one of the best players of his era.