Damian Lillard on Why He Doesn’t Trust the Police Either

Culture

Do you think the NBA season will resume?

If you ask me that question right now, I’ll say yeah. That’s what’s been reported.

It feels like a fluid situation.

As far as I know, we’re playing.

How did you initially feel about the news that Portland would be heading to Orlando, and what do you think about the league’s 22-team format? Anything you’d change about it?

I’m just happy we’re getting a chance. We was in the hunt coming down the stretch and I’m glad we get a chance to make a run for it. That’s all we can ask for.

What specific trepidations do you have about spending however long in the “campus environment,” be it health-related or just having to face so much unknown down in Florida?

I think it’s just the unknown because we’re all coming back together, you have us all in one place, and we don’t know where anybody’s been. Everybody can say they’ve been at home. But you don’t know who’s been at the beach. You don’t know who’s been having house parties. You don’t know what people have been doing and there haven’t been enough tests. Now we’re all gonna be in a bubble. We got that issue. There’s just a lot of things that come into play, you know, it’s a risk. At the end of the day that’s what it is. It’s a risk. But it is what it is, man. We’ll see.

When you talk to teammates and other players, what’s the general consensus on whether it’s worthwhile to finish the season?

I think it’s about split. A lot of my teammates are like, “Whatever, let’s play. Let’s hoop. If that’s what we’re gonna do and they’re saying it’s safe, then let’s do it.” And then on the other hand, people be like, “Are we just doing this because we don’t want to miss out on this money?” People just don’t know.

I want to ask you about a rumor you mentioned in a different interview about possibly getting traded to New York. As someone who follows the NBA very closely and covered it for almost ten years, I don’t really recall any of those rumors. You briefly set the internet ablaze with that one. So when was that?

[Laughs]

I was wondering if you could elaborate?

I feel like it was like two years ago, maybe. Maybe three years? It was never confirmed by anybody. I didn’t speak to my team or their team. I just kept hearing it. People kept asking me about it. I kept seeing it coming across my Twitter and I was like, man, where is this coming from? But I mean obviously it was nothing.

You turn 30 in a month. How much have you reflected in quarantine about where you’re at in your career, and what else you want to accomplish?

I’ve thought about that a lot. Like, man, I was 21 when I got drafted. All this time went by so fast. It seems like it just happened, you know? And then I look at the long list of accomplishments that I’m proud of. And then I just start to look at it like, what are the next steps for me?

This interview has been edited and condensed.


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A Minneapolis Police Officer Opens Up About the Toxic Culture Inside the Department

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