Damian Lillard would rather ‘lose every year' than join Warriors originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
"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 on a recent "It Is What It Is" episode. "They won four championships. What I look like going to try to do that?
"There's somebody that plays my position that's, behind LeBron [James], the best player of this era. So it don't even make sense. I'd never do nothing like that. I'd lose every year before I go."
Lillard repeatedly has said he wants to contend for a championship, and after spending all of his 11 NBA seasons in Portland, he realized he would need to be elsewhere for that to happen. The seven-time All-Star officially requested a trade this summer and stated the Miami Heat were his preferred destination.
“[The Warriors] had another choice. They could have waited for Dame,” Shelburne told 95.7 The Game’s Mark Willard and Dan Dibley. “Dame is from the Bay Area. I know he was interested.
“If he got to the point where he was going to ask for a trade and the list was given [to the organization], the Warriors initially would have been on that list. But now it’s not possible because of the move they made [trading for Chris Paul].”
Lillard was born and raised in Oakland, Calif., and went to two East Bay high schools before ultimately playing at Oakland High School, where he was First Team All-League during his junior and senior years.
While he grew up watching the Warriors, the 33-year-old refuses to play for his hometown team.
Since Lillard entered the league in 2012, Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and the Warriors have made nine playoff appearances, six trips to the NBA Finals and won four titles. Lillard's Trail Blazers were eliminated from the playoffs by Golden State three times in four years.
After the Warriors' first two trips to the Finals, NBA superstar Kevin Durant made the move from Oklahoma City to Golden State a few months after the Warriors eliminated Durant's Thunder in the Western Conference Finals.
Durant received a lot of backlash and criticism for making the move, as the Warriors were labeled a "Super Team" with Durant on the same team as Curry, Thompson, Green, Andre Iguodala and others. The 13-time All-Star's controversial move won him his first two (and only) championship rings, though.
Still, it's something Lillard would never do.
"If I was in his shoes, I wouldn't have done that personally," Lillard said. "I feel like that was a team they lost to. I think they won [the championship] once before he got there. That ain't something that I would have did."
As Lillard's request to move to South Beach -- or anywhere away from the Pacific Northwest -- continues to be negotiated, it's clear that Lillard won't be rocking a Warriors jersey anytime soon.