Rather ‘lose every year’ than join Warriors, Damian Lillard says

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Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors dribbles against Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers in the first quarter at Moda Center on March 3, 2021, in Portland, Ore.

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors dribbles against Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers in the first quarter at Moda Center on March 3, 2021, in Portland, Ore.

Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Things between NBA star Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers aren’t great right now, but the Oakland native still isn’t willing to bolt home to Golden pastures.

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“It’s a lot of times that we knew, as fans, that Portland wasn’t gonna win,” Cam’ron told Lillard. “… Because of your standards and your morals, is that why you stayed there, knowing that you guys wouldn’t win, or did you feel that you had a chance to win?”

The question didn’t seem to offend Lillard, who mentioned there were years he thought Portland could “do something this year” and others where he thought the Blazers could at least “shock people.” But then he addressed why he hasn’t gone to the Warriors, his hometown team.

“As far as Golden State, I respect what they’ve been doing over the last eight, nine years or whatever. And I’m from there, obviously that’s home, but I can’t go be a part of that,” Lillard said.

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“They done won four championships. What I look like, going to try to do that and say ‘Oh, I’m joining my home team’? Like, no. There’s somebody that play my position, that, behind LeBron, is the best player of this era. To me, that don’t even make sense. I’d never do nothing like that. I’d lose every year before I go.”

Lillard’s Blazers have missed the playoffs the past two years after an eight-year run where they were bounced in five first-round series, two conference semis and one conference finals. The one time they made the conference finals, the Warriors swept them, even as Kevin Durant sat out the series to recover from an injury. Speaking of Durant, Cam’ron raised an obvious point. “What you’re trying to say with KD, you wouldn’t do that?” the rapper asked.

“I’ve said this plenty of times before: I think KD — obviously he’s one of the greatest players of all time — but if I was in his shoes, I wouldn’t have done that personally,” Lillard responded. “I just feel like, that’s the team they lost to. … That ain’t something that I would’ve did. Everybody’s situation — you gotta do what you gotta do.”

The prospect of Lillard returning to the Bay Area comes up in his annual trade rumors. The Dubs reportedly explored a trade for the embattled point guard back in 2021. Earlier this year, the Athletic reported that teaming up with Draymond Green was a “dream scenario” for the Blazers guard. ESPN even reported in July that Lillard was “interested” in coming home before the Dubs traded for Chris Paul, which doesn’t really square with his latest comments.

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