HoopsHype Damian Lillard rumors

March 18, 2014 Updates

With the NBA playoffs a month away, a handful of all-stars got into the March Madness spirit by filling out NCAA tournament brackets. All of the players, who provided their brackets exclusively to USA TODAY Sports, share one thing in common: They were all March Madness stars during their collegiate careers. Former Davidson star Steph Curry, former Weber State star Damian Lillard and former Kentucky Wildcats Anthony Davis and John Wall all shared their brackets, which included some surprises. (i.e. Wall has Kentucky losing early). Who will have the best bracket? Find out by following along on For the Win and USA TODAY Sports for the #NBABracketChallenge. We’ll have posts after each round scoring the players. We’ll share our scoring system and you can determine if your picks are up to par with these all-stars. For The Win

March 15, 2014 Updates

It was Wednesday night in San Antonio, and the Blazers had just lost their fourth straight game. When Terry Stotts gave his postgame address to the team, it was the same approach the coach had always used: focusing on the positive, looking on the bright side, trying to offer perspective. The silence that signaled the end of his speech hung, only this time, it didn’t linger. “Hold on,’’ Lillard said. And from there, a passionate, pointed and spontaneous flow of emotions and leadership came from Lillard. His interjection, and subsequent soliloquy, sparked a team meeting. The players and coaches want the details of the meeting to stay in house, but Lillard said the essence of his speech was that it was up to the players, not the coaches, to step up in crunch time, and to not accept the “we competed hard” as a pacifier for losing. “He took control,’’ said Dorell Wright, who is in his 10th NBA season. “It was a big step for him.’’ Oregonian

“He was saying stuff to me that I don’t hear from young guys,’’ Wright said. “He was talkin’ ‘I can’t wait until the summer, because I’m going to be working on this and that.’ And I was like, you already have your head there? Just hearing him saying that, and him looking forward to doing that work, that’s big. When I was that age, I was looking forward to getting back to L.A. to hang out with my friends. That was my main goal. So to hear him say that let’s me know how much passion he has for the game, how much passion he has for winning, and how much of a competitor he is. You just don’t hear guys say that.’’ Oregonian

It’s not that Lillard has never showed leadership qualities. He has always been a strong presence on this team, but nothing like this week. When I told him I was surprised that it was him who spoke up in San Antonio, he acted offended. “Why are you surprised?’’ he asked. “Because you are so young,’’ I replied. “I just felt like it needed to be said,’’ Lillard said. “It turned out everybody was feeling the same way. As a point guard, you should be able to speak up and get your team to respond. I spoke like I felt about what had been going on, and people started to spit stuff into it. Guys spoke up — Earl (Watson), Mo (Williams), that’s what we needed. Keep it all the way 100, I guess.’’ Oregonian

March 13, 2014 Updates

After the Portland Trail Blazers fell to the San Antonio Spurs 103-90 on Wednesday night -- losing their fourth straight game, which happens to be their longest losing streak of the season -- the players had a post-game hash-out session that was initiated by Damian Lillard, CSNNW.com was told. Earl Watson, Mo Williams and Dorell Wright were amongst some of the players to vocally address what was going on and what needed to change from here on out, we’re told. “I just felt like it was something that needed to be said,” Lillard responded when ask why he initiated the dialogue. “At some point, it’s up to the players.” CSNNW.com

March 10, 2014 Updates

Lillard was hit with his sixth personal, fouling out with 3:39 remaining in overtime, leaving Portland without its floor general down the stretch. As far as how he collected his sixth foul, Lillard said he’s not with all the antics of Beverley. “It’s irritating,” Lillard told CSNNW.com. “But I was locked into the game to be one hundred percent honest with you. It’s irritating that he’s doing all that little stuff like flopping, tying you up and all that for the whole game. But I don’t really get caught up in that. It’s whatever.” CSNNW.com

March 4, 2014 Updates
March 1, 2014 Updates

Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard joined ESPN Radio's SVP & Russillo show Friday morning to talk about the Blazers, the playoffs, his game and more. Transcript of the majority of the interview below. On the team's identity/reality: "We feel like we're one of the best teams in the West. We had a great start, like you said, and then it was kind of a rough patch and now we're starting to get back to where we were in the first half of the season. Everybody goes through that and we're just happy to finally be getting past it." On having success in the playoffs: "That's the best example I can think of – Oklahoma City. I think how much they believe, they felt like they belonged and it was possible to just go and get it done. That's the mindset we got to have if we even want to have a chance at doing something like that." Oregonian

February 26, 2014 Updates
February 24, 2014 Updates

Being that he took home the 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year award, became an NBA All-Star and reached other unique incentive clauses in his first two seasons, Lillard will be able to opt out of his shoe contract at the end of the basketball season and either renegotiate a more lucrative deal with adidas, or open negotiations with Nike, Brand Jordan, Reebok or Under Armor, league sources informed CSNNW.com. Another source that’s vastly briefed on Lillard’s situation added, “There’s no doubt about it, he’s opting out.” CSNNW.com

Rival shoe companies have been well-versed on the matter for months and are expected to make competitive offers, but CSNNW.com is told that Nike stands the best chance of luring Lillard away from adidas. CSNNW.com

February 23, 2014 Updates

“When you work so much at things, you start to expect results,” he said. “When I take those shots, I expect to make them. I’m confident. It’s not always necessary to yell and scream about everything. Sometimes it’s necessary, but if I didn’t do it I didn’t feel like it was necessary.” He is just 23 and still fresh enough in the NBA to become the first player ever who qualified and participated in all five All-Star events last weekend in New Orleans. “It’s amazing. I see his growth every year,” Blazers teammate LaMarcus Aldridge said. “He has gotten better every year.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune

He earned Rookie of the Year honors last season, played alongside Aldridge in his first All-Star Game last Sunday and has helped lead the Blazers into contention for home-court advantage in the playoffs with a 36-18 record entering this weekend. It looks like it has all come so easy … “I can’t say I expected it,” Lillard said. “It’s tough. You work so hard and you expect to be successful, but things don’t happen this fast. I mean, Rookie of the Year, All-Star team, my team is playing great. You’ve got to be thankful for it. I’m blessed to be in this position.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune

February 19, 2014 Updates

"We're going to have a solid, strong roster," he said. "It's way too early to assume who's going to be there. "I've been told that (James) Harden and (Russell) Westbrook want to participate. "Derrick Rose may be somewhat ready to come back at that time." Rose is recovering from a serious knee injury. "But we've got a lot of good, young players - Paul George, Damian Lillard," Colangelo said. "(LaMarcus) Aldridge will be a part of our roster this year. FIBA.com

February 17, 2014 Updates

Portland was remarkably one of four NBA teams to have more than one player participating in Sunday’s main event. In order for that to occur, that team has to be winning ball games. When you’re winning, players want to follow. And according to Aldridge, a couple of All-Star players that shall remain anonymous have approached him, telling him that they would like to play with himself and Damian Lillard in Portland. “Definitely a few guys have told me that this weekend,” Aldridge informed CSNNW.com. CSNNW.com

Lillard added: " It was a great experience for me. Playing in this game today, that's the ultimate goal to be in the All-Star Game, playing with LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. I enjoyed myself. "I understand [that minutes are] a seniority thing. You've got guys that are producing at the same level that I am for my team and they've been here five times already. They're going to be on the floor. That's a respect thing and that's the way it should be. If I'm ever a five-time or four-time All-Star and a first-time All-Star comes in and plays more minutes than me, or finishing the game over me, I'm not going to like that. I respect it." Blazers Edge

February 15, 2014 Updates

Damian Lillard’s sixth All-Star Weekend competition was not like the five that have had him in the headlines. The Portland Trail Blazers point guard has attracted attention all over the NBA for being the first player ever to attempt all five major events (the Rising Stars Challenge, skills competition, three-point shootout, dunk contest and the All-Star Game itself), but the #4BarFriday party he hosted at the Maison club in downtown New Orleans on Friday was a contest of his own creation. All season, Lillard has been posting raps on his Instagram account with the #4BarFriday hashtag, and it’s taken on a life of its own. For The Win

February 6, 2014 Updates

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