HoopsHype Damian Lillard rumors

April 14, 2014 Updates

Damian Lillard's banner year continued Monday, when the second-year Portland Trail Blazers point guard finalized a new shoe contract with Adidas that is believed to be among the most lucrative of any player in the NBA. While the exact figures of the deal were not immediately known, a person with knowledge of the contract said it is smaller only than that of Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (reportedly $185 million over 13 years with Adidas) and the Miami Heat's LeBron James (reportedly $20 million annually with Nike) among NBA players. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the financial terms are not typically disclosed. USA Today Sports

The structure of Lillard's previous deal was such that he could opt out and renegotiate at this early juncture of his fasttrack career. Adidas would have had stiff competition if they waited any longer, as their window to have exclusive negotiating rights with his agent, Aaron Goodwin of Goodwin Sports Management, recently ended and Nike as well as the Jordan Brand were known to be very interested in luring Lillard away. USA Today Sports

Portland Trail Blazers Damian Lillard and adidas have finalized a deal that makes it the third richest shoe endorsement deal in history, a source informed CSNNW.com. The deal, according to another source, is an eight-year contract that has the potential to stretch out to 10 years if he reaches certain incentive clauses. We’ve confirmed Lillard’s new contract is slightly less than that of Derrick Rose. CSNNW.com

But there is some concern inside the locker room that Lillard is not held to the same accountabilities that other players are. In other words, his mistakes are often either overlooked, or not held to the same examination as others. That’s not to say there is raging discontent among the ranks when it comes to Lillard. From what I gather, he is respected deeply for his talent, his work ethic and his efforts at becoming a leader. Oregonian

April 12, 2014 Updates

Asked if his affection for Utah meant he might possibly wind up playing someday for the Jazz — whose front office was definitely very interested in drafting Damian before the Trail Blazers beat 'em to the punch in 2012 — Lillard smiled sheepishly and did his best to deflect the question like he would an opponent's entry pass into the paint. "I'm real happy in Portland," he said. "I love the organization, I love the city, and I think that's a great place for me. I fit right in and hopefully I'll be there for my whole career. "It's not often, you know, it doesn't happen too often where people get to spend their whole career with one team, but hopefully I do." Deseret News

"And I got on the court and it was like they cheered me on like I had been here already. And when I became a little more popular and a little more well-known, people recognized me and they were really polite. "And there's a lot more to do here, I think a lot more than people realize is going on in Utah," he said of the state's unfair nothing-to-do-here bad rap. "You think Utah, the first thing people think about is it's a Mormon state, and I think you've got to experience it to see the value here. I tell (my teammates) all the time it's a really nice place. But it's my time and it's my decision on where I like to spend my time at in summers or where I like to go back to, and this is definitely one of those places." Deseret News

April 11, 2014 Updates

What happens when "Portlandia" meets the Portland Trail Blazers? As Thursday's Season 4 episode demonstrated, there was plenty of opportunity for humor as Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein's feminist bookstore owner characters decided to raise the consciousness of the NBA team's Blazer Dancers. Blazer players LaMarcus Aldridge, Thomas Robinson, Robin Lopez and Damian Lillard also turned up. Blazers owner Paul Allen even made an appearance, though in a different sketch. Oregonian

April 2, 2014 Updates

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and adidas are on the cusp of finalizing a multiyear, lucrative shoe endorsement deal barring any hiccups, a league source informed CSNNW.com. Once official, an announcement is expected in the coming days. “We’re close,” Lillard told CSNNW.com on Tuesday. “Nothing final yet. I'm excited.” CSNNW.com

March 29, 2014 Updates

Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, who had a minor kerfuffle with Houston’s Patrick Beverley earlier this month, said he wishes the Rockets’ point guard nothing but the best with his injured right knee. “I’m sorry to hear it happened to him,’’ Lillard said, moments after finding out following the Blazers’ 91-74 victory in Chicago. “It happens in the game of basketball, in any sport. Hopefully, he will recover from it. I wish the best for him.’’ Oregonian

March 28, 2014 Updates

The outrage has gotten so out of hand that many are suggesting that Stotts’ hold on the team might be slipping in the midst of this slump, thus the reason the organization hasn’t granted him an extension or had his option picked up for next year. When it comes to the players, they say Stotts’ grip is as tight as it’s ever been. “I think our relationship with coach is good,” Damian Lillard told CSNWW.com. “I love coach Stotts. That’s the coach. I think when the boat starts to rock a little bit, that’s when everybody is, ‘Uh oh. What’s going on with the coaches and the players? Why are they losing games?’ It’s tough, but our group is still here. We’re staying together.” CSNNW.com

March 21, 2014 Updates

Key to Portland's offensive execution was Damian Lillard, who shook off nightmare against the Milwaukee Bucks (20 points, 7-for-21 shooting, four assists, and five turnovers) on Tuesday to post 23 points (on 8-for-18 shooting), 10 assists and one turnover against Wall and the Wizards. "[Wall] being one of the elite guards in the league, of course I have to raise my game against him," Lillard told Blazersedge. "I did what my team needed from me. I needed to turn the ball over less and assist more." Blazers Edge

March 19, 2014 Updates

Shaquille O’Neal stands alone as the only NBA player to actually turn a profit in the hip-hop game with his debut album “Shaq Diesel,” a 12-track compilation that went platinum in 1994. The seven-footer can also toot his horn when it comes to longevity in the field, having produced five albums in total. That’s the sort of impact Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard is looking to make when he eventually and officially, takes the music industry by storm. “If my profile continues to increase, I think I can go platinum with my music,” Lillard told CSNNW.com. “Not to knock anybody else who has done it, but I can actually rap. I have a story to tell. It’s not going to just be about basketball. I have more content than that. With the way I know I can get down, and the producers that I’ll align myself with, there’s no reason not to think I couldn’t go platinum. Shaq proved it’s possible.” CSNNW.com

The All-Star point guard says he anticipates releasing a mixtape sometime this year consisting of 10 tracks to spawn up some buzz before he drops his first album. Just as smooth and effortless is his shooting stroke; he says freestyling and putting verses together “comes more naturally” to him. “It’s something that comes easy to me,” Lillard said. “It’s another talent that I have.” CSNNW.com

It doesn’t end there for the venturous second year guard out of Weber State. Lillard is interested in starring in movies, too. “I’m not an actor but I think it’s something that I can grow into if given time,” he acknowledged. “I would like to play a part like how Ray Allen played Jesus Shuttlesworth. That’s something I’m interested in among some other things.” CSNNW.com

March 18, 2014 Updates

When he caught wind of the Q & A and Matthews' challenge, Batum took to Twitter to defend himself. He quoted Matthews' answer and set up a Wild Wild West-style duel, just short of High Noon. “Wes tommorow 11am ...” Batum said Tuesday in his tweet. The Blazers probably will practice on Wednesday, setting up a possible stage for a fun — and perhaps — intense head-to-head matchup between two of their best players. At least one teammate is excited about the possibility. “I’ll be there,” Damian Lillard said in a reply to Batum’s tweet. Oregonian

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

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.