Damian Lillard RumorsAll NBA Players
Height: 6-3 / 1.91
Weight:194 lbs. / 88.4 kg.
Height: 6-3 / 1.91
Weight:194 lbs. / 88.4 kg.
Aldridge and Lillard are no different. Was Aldridge jealous of Lillard at times, probably so, but teammates consistently told CSNNW.com that there was never any friction between the two, certainly not on Lillard’s behalf. The 24-year-old point guard went out of his way to acknowledge Aldridge as the captain of the Blazers on many occasions.
Damian Lillard: Was an honor to carry the #FlameOfHope for the @SpecialOlympics #UnifiedRelay in #RipCity yesterday. #PassTheFlame http://t.co/R7a0NPY5JM
Lillard had wanted to coordinate the timing of a meeting before leaving town, but Aldridge, understandably, was slow to respond. He had a second meeting with the Lakers to focus on that night, then a meeting with the Miami Heat and team president Pat Riley. There were extensive text messages shared between Aldridge and Lillard in what constituted a modern-day conversation, and the message was made quite clear by the time Friday night rolled around: whether the Spurs or the Phoenix Suns, Lillard was convinced Aldridge was gone. None of which is to say Aldridge made a bad choice; in fact, going to the Spurs is a tremendous choice. This combination of top-tier talent both young (Leonard, Aldridge, Danny Green) and old (Duncan, Tony Parker and perhaps Manu Ginobili) is as tantalizing as any we’ve seen, and the Golden State Warriors surely know their title defense just got a whole lot harder.
For years, the rumblings that Aldridge wasn’t happy with his place in the Portland spotlight were always there. First it was Brandon Roy stealing his thunder, then Greg Oden before his ill-fated fall, and then this young and dynamic talent named Damian Lillard whose star rose far too quickly for Aldridge’s liking. All along the way, the complaints that would rarely, if ever, come directly from Aldridge himself were consistent: one way or another, intentional or not, he felt underappreciated – if not disrespected. He wanted top billing.
But the challenging part for the Blazers folks who tried so hard through the years to understand him is that Aldridge’s understated ways made it nearly impossible to satisfy this request. He routinely turned down interviews, or didn’t maximize off-court opportunities of which Lillard would take full advantage. He is known as the private type, the kind of player and person who prefers to play his game and let someone else handle the lion’s share of the leadership duties. Except, of course, until someone does just that, reaps the benefits of it and kickstarts the cycle of jealousy that had everything to do with his departure.
Lillard, upon return from a promotional trip in Paris, was hoping to pull off some fourth-quarter heroics on Thursday night. He started planning a trip via charter plane to Los Angeles, a sit-down to meet with Aldridge and try to work it all out. But the trip never happened because, well, it was already too late. Lillard had wanted to coordinate the timing of a meeting before leaving town, but Aldridge, understandably, was slow to respond. He had a second meeting with the Lakers to focus on that night, then a meeting with the Miami Heat and team president Pat Riley. There were extensive text messages shared between Aldridge and Lillard in what constituted a modern-day conversation, and the message was made quite clear by the time Friday night rolled around: whether the Spurs or the Phoenix Suns, Lillard was convinced Aldridge was gone.
I wrote a column two seasons ago about Portland potentially alienating Aldridge by going too far with the Lillard-palooza. Aldridge reached and out told me how much he liked the column. The Blazers decided prior to last season that they’d spend Aldridge’s final season under contract celebrating his milestones, pitching him as the all-time Mr. Trail Blazer.
To their credit, Aldridge and Lillard worked well enough together on the court. They’re both too intelligent and socially aware to take their philosophical differences public. But they were co-workers, and not great friends. Those deeply entrenched in both camps told me on multiple occasions, basketball aside, that the two men were not huge fans of each other. Which only makes Lillard’s inability to get a face-to-face sit-down with Aldridge in that 11th hour trip to Los Angeles less shocking.
Mike Richman: For those asking, Damian Lillard is in LA to work with Special Olympics. He didn’t fly there specifically to meet with LaMarcus Aldridge.
Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard said he had an “honest” phone conversation with LaMarcus Aldridge late Thursday that centered around Aldridge’s impending free agent decision. “I just wanted to express to him how important he is to the organization,” Lillard said. “And give my honest feelings of how I feel about him as a player/teammate and what I think we can accomplish together.” Lillard said he couldn’t recall how long the conversation lasted, but there was back and forth between the two All-Stars. “I said a lot,” Lillard said. “And so did he.”: 96 more rumors
“No sales-pitch B.S.,” Lillard said. Lillard did not say whether he thought Aldridge was staying or going. “I understand he has to make a decision for him,” Lillard said. “And we have to respect that.”
Alex Kennedy: Damian Lillard planned to meet LaMarcus Aldridge face-to-face today (as @Sam_Amick said) but they had lengthy phone call instead, per source: 96 more rumors
First, it was a tweet. Now, Damian Lillard is taking a trip Los Angeles hoping to meet with free agent LaMarcus Aldridge and try to recruit the All-Star power forward to re-sign with the Trail Blazers. Lillard is hoping he’ll get an opportunity to meet with Aldridge, but has yet to set up a face to face sitdown Lillard’s agent Aaron Goodwin told The Oregonian/OregonLive. Aldridge, who lives in Los Angeles during the offseason, has met with the Los Angeles Lakers (twice), Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, and Toronto Raptors since free agency opened on Tuesday.
Lillard on Thursday agreed to a five-year contract worth over $120 million to stay with the Blazers before hopping on a plane bound for Southern California. Lillard’s personal recruiting trip is not insignificant as Aldridge’s jealousy of Lillard’s marketing prowess as the face of franchise has created some undeniable friction. But Lillard and Aldridge remain cordial and the face to face meeting should allow Lillard to clear the air of any remaining doubts Aldridge harbors about a return to the Blazers with Lillard.
Jabari Young: Lillard had been traveling overseas and couldn’t reach Aldridge, but wants to meet him if possible….could be a game changer #Blazers: 96 more rumors
There’s yet another wrinkle, too, the agent for Portland Trailblazers point guard Damian Lillard, Aaron Goodwin, told USA TODAY Sports that his client is planning an impromptu visit to Los Angeles to try and convince his former teammate to stay. Lillard, who finalized a five-year extension worth between $125 and $129 million on Thursday, just returned from a promotional trip in Paris. The relationship between those two players has been a focal point of Aldridge’s possible departure from Portland.: 96 more rumors
Jabari Young: Something to note: Damian Lillard’s deal could stretch to $145M if he makes an All-NBA Team next year. Same deal as Anthony Davis
Marc J. Spears: Damian Lillard’s maximum contract extension with Portland is expected to be between $125 million and $129 million, source told Yahoo Sports.: 6 more rumors
Marc J. Spears: Damian Lillard’s five-year, $120 million max extension deal with Blazers is getting “closer” to getting agreed to, source told Yahoo Sports.: 6 more rumors
Sam Amick: Damian Lillard’s extension with Blazers is done, I’m told: designated player max between five years $125-29 million. A payday in Portland.: 6 more rumors
Marc J. Spears: Damian Lillard has agreed to a five-year, $120 million maximum contract extension with the Blazers, a source told Yahoo Sports.
Damian Lillard: Thank you so much to @PaulGAllen and the @trailblazers organization I’ll be in #RipCity 6 more years! Oakland to Ogden to Oregon..TO STAY
Blazers GM Neil Olshey drafted Eric Bledsoe, but the Suns aren’t interested in dealing Bledsoe, per several league sources, and the Bledsoe–Damian Lillard pairing might leave both players frustrated.: 6 more rumors
Shams Charania: Portland, Damian Lillard negotiating a 5-year, approximate $129 million max deal that could include fifth-year option, source tells RealGM.: 6 more rumors
Andre Drummond: Congrats to my brother @Anthony Davis and @Damian Lillard ! Huge accomplishment keep killing and doing you’re thing ! #NBAFreeAgency
Chris Broussard: Sources: Blazers & @Damian Lillard still working on framework of max extension that should be Btwn $120-130 mill over 5 years: 6 more rumors
Marc Stein: ESPN sources say Portland Trail Blazers and Damian Lillard are nearing agreement on a five-year max extension with in excess of $120 million: 6 more rumors