The “loyalty” wave in the NBA has changed tremendously over the years . Nowadays it’s pretty common to see players find new homes and new places to play during free agency rather than staying put where they are. The landscape has also change in the front office as well. Back in the day, there were teams that kept their core together for years to compete in the league. Of course, change is inevitable, but top tier players usually have control of reputation.
Damian Lillard is one of those players. He’s built on loyalty. Lillard, who was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazer sixth overall in the 2012 NBA Draft out of Weber State, has played in Portland his whole NBA career. In a time where it has become common for superstars to pair up with other superstars, Lillard brings up loyalty when asked about going elsewhere. He knows that some people’s weight sort of falls on him and he is okay with that. He is also one that believes if he leaves Portland, then a domino effect occurs.
It is unfortunate that this situation comes with the territory, but that’s just how the game goes when you are a superstar in the NBA. Lillard is the one that takes pride in his situation. He came in with in the league with a chip on his shoulder and if you watch any of his games, that chip is still there. He’s been snubbed from multiple NBA All-Star games, he caught some jabs after having a tough playoffs series against the Pelicans last year, and some people questioned whether he was a “superstar” player after that.
Same ol’ Dame, his mentality is set where he doesn’t care what you think about him. He’s going to compete at a high-level every night because that was instilled in him back in his younger days in Oakland. He has “Oakland” tattooed on his chest because he knows it’s more than him. The city of Oakland is watching, he provides inspiration to the people back there just like any other NBA player does for their city, but with Dame it’s different, just look at the type of person and player he is. His loyalty comes with a killer mentality like anybody can get. He’s one of the smoothest players in the league, who doesn’t need many dribbles or combo move to get open for a jumper or a finish at the rim.
Dame Lillard is a elite player in the league and it’s time for his name to mentioned among the league’s elite and not just the All-Stars. He has done so much for the Portland Trail Blazers, who currently sit fifth in the Western Conference standings. The team success is what stands on, but it’s his amazing performances night in and night out that gives them that success. He probably doesn’t care much about his name being mentioned in MVP talks, but it should and he should be in the running for it. Yes, he’s just that good.
His loyalty is what stands out, and probably second to none in the NBA. Say what you want about Dame, but you can’t take away his loyalty.
Watch his 51-point outing against the Thunder from this season below