Damian Lillard Says Trail Blazers 'Constantly Come Up Short,' 'Must Look in Mirror'

Adam WellsJuly 16, 2021

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard runs upcourt after scoring against the Utah Jazz during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

Amid speculation about his future with the Portland Trail Blazers, Damian Lillard offered candid comments about the state of the organization. 

Speaking to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Lillard said everyone with the Blazers "must look in the mirror because we’ve constantly come up short."

Lillard's comments to Haynes came out on the same day that Henry Abbott of TrueHoop.com reported the six-time All-Star plans to request a trade "in the days to come."

One continued source of frustration for Lillard has been Portland's loss to the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs. 

"We’re not losing a lot, but we were eliminated by a short-handed Denver team that I felt we should have beat," Lillard told Haynes. "I just walked away from that really disappointed."

Those comments are similar to what he said in the aftermath of Portland's Game 6 loss June 3 when he told reporters the team "isn't good enough to win a championship" if it can't beat a Nuggets squad that didn't have Jamal Murray or Will Barton because of injuries.

It marked the fourth time in five seasons that the Blazers have been unable to get out of the first round in the Western Conference playoffs. 

Next season will mark the start of the four-year, $176.3 million extension Lillard signed in 2019.

The 31-year-old ranked third in the NBA during the regular season with 28.8 points per game, in addition to averaging 7.5 assists per contest and shooting 39.1 percent from three-point range.