Once again, LeBron James has put together a stacked team for this weekend’s All-Star game. One of the best picks that Los Angeles Lakers star made was snagging Damian Lillard. For some inexplicable reason, he wasn’t named a starter despite being an MVP candidate.
That gave LeBron the opportunity to pick him as a reserve. In fact, every year since they started having the top vote-getters picking their teams, LeBron has picked Lillard to play with. The Portland Trail Blazers star is honored by that fact.
“Every year that they’ve done (the draft) I’ve been on LeBron’s team,” Lillard, via NBA.com. “I think it’s pretty cool that he picks me every year, I get to play with Bron every year in the All-Star Game cause he pick me. He’s the best player of our generation, the greatest player of our generation. I’m a Trail Blazer, I’ve been here my whole career, so just to have the opportunity to go out there and mix it up with the rest of the best players in the league and rock out with Bron a little bit is always fun.”
LeBron can’t be blamed for always picking Lillard. He’s one of the best scorers in the world and his ability in the clutch is unmatched. If only he’d ditch Portland for Los Angeles.
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Lakers Wanted to Land Lillard in the Past
It’s no secret that the Lakers would love to have Lillard on their squad. There are probably 29 teams in the NBA that would. In fact, the Lakers reportedly had an interest in landing him before they went after Anthony Davis, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic.
“A source with knowledge of Lillard’s situation said there was Lakers interest in a superstar pairing with Lillard and LeBron James before the Davis deal went down in June 2019,” Amick reported back in 2020.
Pairing LeBron with Lillard would’ve been a very interesting move. It’s easy to see how those two would fit well together. Lillard is an elite shooter and wants to shoot the big shots at the end of games. LeBron is excellent in the clutch but probably wouldn’t mind having somebody around to help take the pressure off him. It’s hard to say if Lillard would’ve made a better partner for LeBron than Davis does but it’s easy to see that Lakers team winning a couple of championships.
Lillard Will Probably Never Leave Portland
If Lillard got tired of Portland and made it clear he wanted to get traded, the Lakers would probably be on the phone immediately. However, that’s probably never going to happen. In an era where superstar players are consistently changing teams, Lillard is one of the few who has remained loyal.
It’s easy to remain loyal when you’re winning championships but it’s hard to see the Trail Blazers winning a title anytime soon. They have a good team and almost always make the playoffs but they just don’t have enough to get past teams like the Lakers. It’s possible that he eventually wants to go ring chasing but that’s seeming very unlikely.