Most Tail Blazers fans remember when Portland's All-Star Damian Lillard made the "Blazers in six" comment right before Portland tipped off its last regular season game against New Orleans that year.
Lillard has always been extremely confident and uber competitive.
To get where he is today and where he wants to be, being confident and competitive is imperative, obviously.
He always welcomes all challenges -- big and small.
[Listen to the latest Talkin' Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon.]
And really, there's nothing the sports world loves more than superstar players saying overconfident things even if they are pretty ridiculous, i.e. Lillard's comments in 2017.
But hey, what was Lillard supposed to say, when Rip City Live host Dan Sheldon asked him, "Blazers in 6 or 7?"
Sure, Lillard predicted his team, who snuck into the playoffs in the last week of the season, would knock off the Warriors, who that year were the first team to win 67 games in three straight seasons, but we can appreciate such a statement.
And now, as Lillard and the Trail Blazers prepare for the 2019-20 season to start back up again in Orlando, Lillard is confident once again.
But this time, I don't think people are completely laughing off his comments like they did a few years ago.
In a recent Vanity Fair interview, Lillard was asked numerous questions with topics ranging from attending Black Lives Matter protests to how competitive he is as a person, to his music career and who has influenced him the most in the music industry.
But, besides the Knicks trade rumors; his opinion about earning the No. 8 seed out West and facing the Lakers needs to be noted as well.
Vanity Fair Question: When the season shut down, the Trail Blazers were in ninth place; if you move up to eighth, you could play the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round. You want that?
Of course. I think we could beat them. – Trail Blazers 5x All-Star Damian Lillard
There's that confidence again. And we know Blazers fans love to see it.
Portland, Sacramento and New Orleans all currently sit three and a half games behind No. 8 Memphis. The Lakers currently hold a 5.5 game lead for the top spot out West over the Clippers.
Oddsmakers aren't as sure as Lillard that Portland can even beat out Memphis for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
These recent projections are courtesy of FiveThirtyEight, who uses prior performance, remaining strength of schedule, quality of roster and other indicators to project the playoff field.
8th seed: Memphis Grizzlies (28-26)
Chances of the playoffs: 15%
Projected Record: 38-44
9th seed: Portland Trail Blazers (25-31)
Chances of the playoffs: 14%
Projected Record: 38-44
And when Vanity Fair asked Lillard, "do you feel secure about your safety in regard to the coronavirus, and do you think the plan for the top 16 teams plus six more is fair?" -- Lillard referenced his competitive nature once again.
As a competitor I'm happy we will get an opportunity to continue and try to make a run in the playoffs. I am a little concerned about the risk we're taking dealing with the virus, but the NBA will take all precautions into consideration to keep us safe. I think the plan going forward is fair. -- Damian Lillard to Vanity Fair
Even though many players have agreed with Lillard in believing the plan to have a 22-team format with each team playing eight regular season games is reasonable, the NBA and NBPA still haven't finalized the format to return to play.
The talks are ongoing, as is Lillard's confidence.