Let us describe a player to you and see if you can guess who it is.
4-time All-NBA; 5-time NBA All-Star; 2013 Rookie of the Year; nine 50-point performances in his career; averaged 28.9 points, 7.8 assists and 4.3 rebounds this year before the season was abruptly suspended…
Yup, you guessed it. It's Damian Lillard.
And guess what? He is a Portland Trail Blazer, through and through.
Those individual accomplishments are simply insane. It's like watching a video game in real life. The one thing Lillard has not accomplished in his eight-year career in Portland is an NBA Championship. Lillard and the Trail Blazers have come close, reaching the Western Conference Finals in 2018-2019, but not farther. Yet.
If anyone deserves an NBA championship, it's Damian Lillard.
ESPN's First Take crew of Molly Qerim Rose, Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman dished out their list of NBA primetime players with Lillard coming in at No. 9, which then sparked the question…
What would it take for Dame to win an NBA championship in Portland?
Leave Portland. That's what it would take. He needs to leave Portland, period… He knows how I feel about him. He knows I think he's big time. I thought he deserved to be First Team All-NBA last season even ahead of Steph Curry because Steph Curry was hampered by injuries and Damian Lillard got the Portland Trail Blazers to the conference finals. He is an All-Star. He is a big time shot-maker. He's a big time performer in big time moments. He's a perennial All-Star. He is special. - Stephen A. Smith
This is and will continue to be a continued discussion throughout Lillard's NBA career because you knew from the moment the Weber State prodigy took the court in Portland he was going to be special.
Not just special, but more like out of this world.
While some continue to question his mindset, Lillard has pledged his loyalty to Portland time and time again. He has no interest in joining a "Super Team," i.e. Kevin Durant joining the Golden State Warriors or perhaps what LeBron is doing in Los Angeles. He has made it clear time and time again, he wants to finish his career in Portland and bring a championship to this city.
To leave, what did I invest all this time for just to leave, you know? If I go play with three other stars, I don't think that many people would doubt that I could win it. We would win it, but what is the challenge or the fun in that? - Damian Lillard
And then comes the debate of how will Lillard win if her were to stay in Portland. Well, you got to put the right pieces around him and Smith states that is a lot to ask in a small market organization such as Portland.
I love him and CJ McCollum together. They are an elite backcourt. I don't believe the two of them together based on how the league is constructed can win a championship together in Portland so one of them has got to go for you to acquire great assets for the other to shine without having to share the basketball. I think that is what it's going to take. - Stephen A. Smith.
Basically, Portland will never have the assets to win a championship.
You can watch the full video here.
Will Lillard bring a championship to Portland? Only time will tell, but here's what we do know. Lillard has the will, drive and talent to give Portland a chance. So stop doubting the man, because he continues to prove them wrong.
Be sure to check out the latest Talkin' Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon.
Damian Lillard needs to 'leave Portland' to win NBA championship originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest