It’s not a secret to anyone who follows the NBA closely that Dame Lillard and Chris Haynes are close. He covered the Blazers the year Dame got drafted and they’ve been close ever since.
So this new story that dropped from Haynes was very surprising.
This article is one part indictment of the Blazers, and truthfully, one part indictment of Dame. By that I mean, Chris is calling for Dame to be more aggressive, to be more of a dick, less of a patient, low maintenance pro in demanding help. He’s the best Blazer in history and he came out and said, I’d like to bring a title to Portland but it’s not the most important thing to me. And you know what? It got met with a conservative approach in building a roster.
The Blazers have made NO big trades. They have not attracted ANY current All Stars to pair with Dame, and plenty have moved around (Harden, Oladipo, etc.). Shit Carmelo Anthony wouldn’t even come to Portland until he couldn’t get a job anywhere else.
James Harden said Portland was on his list of places he was open to be traded to. You think Fertitta turns down CJ and Gary Trent and a couple first rounders? No way Shrimp Fork turns that down. Can you double team Dame when you have Harden? How about a 3 team trade where Portland gets Simmons, Houston gets CJ, and Philly gets Harden? Who says no to that?
Portland automatically gets better fast. I am NO Ben Simmons fan, but his defense alone makes Portland a contender. And at least in Portland, Simmons wouldn’t be running the point, which is my main beef with him.
But the Blazers front office makes ZERO effort. No money moves. Norman Powell is NOT a money move, it’s an attempt to squeeze value out of Gary Trent, Jr., who they were never going to re-sign. Again, a conservative move.
Why not re-sign Trent and move CJ and get an elite defender? Why not trade Nurk and some other pieces for someone like Jaylen Brown? The list of potential players that could have made Portland alot better is HUGE.
You cannot say you don’t mind that you don’t win a championship and be shocked that the organization won’t act with urgency.
So in a sense, his greatest strength, his humility, being a consummate pro, being an all-time great human, is causing Portland to do the wrong thing to him. He has trusted the organization to do the right thing, and they won’t. I love that Dame is low maintenance and isn’t a diva. I love that there is more to him than a championship. But this organization needs him to be more direct and aggressive. In my opinion, it’s time for Dame to throw a baby Dame tantrum and demand what he should have been given: a better roster, another All-star, and a better coach.
And most of all, a chance to ACTUALLY win. On this episode of THIS LEAGUE, we get into Dr. J’s All NBA Team list, why Portland is struggling with CJ McCollum back in the lineup and whether Donovan Mitchell could be a top 3 shooting guard in the NBA.
If you want to watch instead of listen, YT is below: