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Damian Lillard on why he's loyal to Portland Trail Blazers: “I'd hate to be in another place...Then, I’m stuck there” 

Brooklyn Nets v Portland Trail Blazers
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard

Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers have been playing well this season and are poised to be dark horse contenders. The star guard sees his team as a championship-ready squad and can take on any challenge.

Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype recently got a chance to talk to the six-time All-Star about their season. Lillard strongly believes that the Trail Blazers (11-11) have a legitimate shot at winning the title this season.

"I think we can be a championship team," Lillard said. "We’ve got a good mix of veterans with experience and young, talented guys. Right now in the league, that’s who you’re seeing are the most successful teams."

Lillard also shared why he's been loyal to the organization:

"This has been my experience. I’d hate to be in another place and be like, 'Dang, this is how you operate? Then, I’m stuck there.'"
Exclusive: Damian Lillard discussed why he remains loyal to the Blazers, Dame’s sales pitch to keep Jerami Grant, expectations for Portland, and more on @hoopshype. hoopshype.com/lists/exclusiv…

Lillard has missed the last six games for the Blazers due to a calf strain, which is on the same leg he injured recently this season. Portland has gone 1-5 in that stretch. But overall, the team has played tremendously well and has turned things around, starting 10-4 after going 27-55 last season.

"We’ve got to be healthy," said Lillard, who has played 11 games this season. "I’ve played a lot of games, but I’ve been in and out of the lineup with little nagging things with my calf."

Aside from Lillard, Gary Payton II has also been riding on the bench due to injury. Payton II hasn't suited up for Portland due to an offseason injury.

The Blazers are 4-0…… and elite defender Gary Payton II hasn’t even made his debut yet. 👀 https://t.co/RkLY3mjxJx

Also read: NBA News Today: Steph Curry breaks another record, Damian Lillard close to return and more


Damian Lillard could retire as a Blazer

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard
Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard

Looking at the NBA, there aren't a ton of players who have been loyal to their teams. Damian Lillard is one of the last loyal players across the association, and he could end his career as a member of one franchise alone.

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In the past, Lillard has expressed his desire to stay loyal to the team that drafted him. Even though there were fans who mocked him for it, he stayed true to himself and the organization. That's why the possibility of him retiring as a Blazer wouldn't be a huge surprise.

The 2012-13 Rookie of the Year has been in Portland for 11 seasons and has done a lot for the team and the community. Over the years, he has led the squad as far as the conference finals back in the 2018-19 season.

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Damian Lillard is now 32, and no one knows how many years he has left in the tank. Dame has dealt with injuries recently, which have kept him and his team from competing. Still, the Blazers appear to have been loyal to their star player.

Also read: Reports: Damian Lillard is expected to return for Portland Trail Blazers by December 4th

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
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