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Stephen A Smith Thinks The Only Way Damian Lillard Wins A Ring Is If He Leaves Portland

Is what Stephen A saying here wrong? It's not that hot of take in my opinion. If you look at the teams out West there are certainly a handful you would pick as teams to win a title before Portland. It's not exactly a new take that the duo of CJ/Dame should be broken up but there's only one problem there. Both of them just recently signed big time extensions. Where Stephen A lost me is when he got into Dame joining the Knicks and then maybe the Lakers. How the fuck are the Lakers going to pull that off? He makes $31M next year and then his extension kicks in for the 2021-22 season and his salary jumps to $43M. What on earth are the Lakers going to be able to offer that makes the money work? No, it's not Kyle Kuzma. I don't know why Stephen A keeps bringing this up. He did the same shit with a Devin Booker for Kyle Kuzma trade idea. He needs to realize nobody wants to trade their franchise player for Kyle Kuzma. 

There's also another gigantic road block to this idea that Dame has to get out of Portland. He has made it very clear time and time again that he would rather win 0 rings than leave Portland and join a super team. He's one of the few stars in the league that doesn't give a shit if he never wins one. He loves Portland that much.

He backed up these quotes by signing his 4/196M extension. There's just something cool about a player like Dame being so honest about his loyalty and love for Portland and then backing it up. That is certainly not always how it goes in today's NBA when the best players start to worry about their legacy if they never win a ring. I'd say Dame/Giannis are two guys who have gone the opposite direction, but the jury is still out if Giannis will follow through like Dame did. Does he turn down his supermax next summer? I doubt it but time will tell. 

It's no secret that Dame is already one of the greatest Blazers ever. I think as of now outside of Clyde Drexler he's probably #2. He's 8th in games played, 4th in minutes, 3rd in FGM, 1st in 3PM, 3rd in assists, 2nd in points, 2nd in FTM and he's not even close to being done. I think if he were to ever leave Portland it would be one of the more shocking things I've ever seen in this era of NBA basketball. I understand things can sometimes change, but to me Dame seems like a legit contender to be one of those rare players who spends their entire career with one franchise. Ring or not. 

They took a step back this year after their WCF appearance last year, but to me that's more about their injuries than anything else. When healthy this is still a team that has the type of top end talent that can make a run, Dame is still an absolute problem who has single handedly ended playoff series. I personally hope he stays and I'm not even a Blazers fan. That franchise and fanbase has had enough heartbreak so I say let them have this.