Chauncey Billups never tried to convince Damian Lillard to stay in Portland

·5 min read

Before their conversations, Billups said he was aware of Lillard’s unhappiness with the end of the Blazers’ season, and that his superstar might have been entertaining thoughts of asking out of Portland. But he said he never approached their talks as if he was trying to convince Lillard to stay. “I’ve never told Dame, or asked him, to stay. Nothing. I’ve never done that,” Billups said. “I felt like the biggest thing I wanted to do was share the things that were important to me. This is what I am. This is what I’m about. “Then, it’s on him to decide: Is it worth it? Or should I punt?”
Source: Jason Quick @ The Athletic

What’s the buzz on Twitter?

Mike Richman @mikegrich
Damian Lillard denies trade rumors, says he’s staying with Trail Blazers: “I love what I’ve built” via @YouTube2:23 AM

Jason Quick @jwquick
Stop writing it. Stop saying it. Stop believing it. Damian Lillard isn’t going anywhere.
“I’m not leaving Portland,” @Damian Lillard said. “…it’s not going to happen.”
One reason why? A series of conversations this summer with Chauncey Billups.…9:57 PM

Damian Lillard @Dame_Lillard
🎥 My new video for “Right One” featuring @LilTunechi and @MozzyThaMotive!
#DameDOLLA @empire @FrontPageMusic @YoungMoneySite PM

Sean Cunningham @SeanCunningham
Kings guard Davion Mitchell ready to tip-off his first NBA season in Portland tomorrow night, against Damian Lillard, who has been a resource for him to get advice from as an older rookie coming into the league.

James Ham @James_HamNBA
Davion Mitchell said he spoke to Damian Lillard when he was in Portland and he also has a relationship with Chris Paul. PM

James Ham @James_HamNBA
Davion Mitchell is set to open his career against Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers. It’s a tall task, but he’s looking forward to it. PM

David MacKay @DavidMacKayNBA
Even though Trail Blazers fans know, it bears repeating – No way in hell a Lillard/Simmons deal is even considered by Portland. Dame’s composure is unparalleled. His commitment to the game, unquestioned. The same could not and cannot be said of Simmons – especially after today. – 3:48 PM

Sean Highkin @highkin
Damian Lillard on speculation picking up if the team starts slow: “I’ll answer that the same way I answered it on media day. I’m not leaving Portland. … It’s an easy thing and a popular thing to say but it’s not gonna happen.” PM

Jeff Goodman @GoodmanHoops
ACC Preseason Poll:
1. Duke (47)
2. Florida State (14)
3. North Carolina (5)
4. Virginia (9)
5. Virginia Tech (5)
6. Louisville (1)
7. Syracuse
8. Notre Dame
9. NC St
10. Georgia Tech
11. Clemson
12. Miami
13. Wake Forest
14. Pitt
15. BC – 9:19 AM

Michael Pina @MichaelVPina
part 1 of the OPEN FLOOR-CROSSOVER nba potluck season preview extravaganza w/ @RohanNadkarni, @Howard Beck, @Chris Herring, and @SIChrisMannix is live🏀we discuss lakers, warriors, dame, zion, bold predictions, and more!
part 2 (the East) drops later today:…8:01 AM

Casey Holdahl @CHold
Other than Tony Snell, who Billups noted today had a small “setback” with regard to his right foot sprain, it sounds like everyone should be available for Wednesday’s season opener vs. Kings. – 4:55 PM

More on this storyline

Lillard told The Athletic that a series of conversations with Billups over the summer helped center his thoughts back to Portland and what could happen if he stayed. Those conversations — Billups said it was five or six, some of them in person, some on the phone — dealt with basketball philosophy, strategies and concepts. But they also involved topics that penetrated to Lillard’s core. They talked about family, life after basketball, and the qualities found in a winner. -via The Athletic / October 20, 2021

Lillard left the conversations inspired, encouraged and enamored. What he saw in his new coach was what he saw in himself. “I think a big part of (my change in mindset) was me and Chauncey’s conversations, and where we see things the same,” Lillard told The Athletic. “I’m not going to share details of our conversations, but it’s not often when I speak to people that they see what I see. Watching a game, observing people … there’s not many people who see what I see. But a lot of what I see, he sees. So that was very important to me. Like, that was a big deal.” -via The Athletic / October 20, 2021

As much as Lillard has recently tried to backtrack from his tumultuous summer by saying other people were putting words into his mouth, he acknowledged Friday that was indeed contemplating leaving Portland, even if he never publicly said it. “Yeah, I was upset,” Lillard said. “We lost to a team (Denver) I thought we should beat. I wanted us to show we really want to win. But I never said, ‘Oh, I’m leaving.’ I said, ‘If that’s what it comes to — if this is not what our real focus is — then maybe I will be forced to say all right, it’s not going to work.’ “But I never said I was leaving. And I never said this is not where I want to be. I never said that.” -via The Athletic / October 20, 2021

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