Damian Lillard: It Would Be an 'Honor to Be a Lifetime Blazer'

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 6, 2018

PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 30:  Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers celebrates during the game against the Houston Rockets on March 30, 2017 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sam Forencich/Getty Images

Damian Lillard has spent the first six years of his NBA career with the Portland Trail Blazers, and if he gets his way, it will be the only uniform he ever wears.

Lillard recently told Michael Scotto of The Athletic that it would be an "honor" to spend his entire career in Rip City:

"That would be an honor to be a lifetime Blazer. Not a lot of guys get to play for one organization for their entire career. Obviously, I love playing for the Blazers. I love living in the city. I feel like I’ve established a connection with the people and the culture of the city just as much as I’ve done on the basketball court, so that’s important. But, as we know, it’s a business and a lot of times organizations have other plans, and sometimes players change their stance on that. But to be a lifetime Blazer, that would be great. I’m all on board for it."

The sixth overall pick out of Weber State in 2012, Lillard has made a name for himself with the Trail Blazers. He has averaged 23.1 points, 6.2 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game through his first six seasons.

When Lillard arrived in Portland, the Blazers were coming off a 28-win, lockout-shortened season. While they missed the postseason during his first year in the league, he has led the team to the playoffs in each of the past five seasons.

Along the way, the point guard has earned some accolades as a result of his strong play. He won the 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year award, is a three-time All-Star and was named to the All-NBA first team this past season.

It was just three years ago Lillard signed a five-year, $120 million max extension to remain in Portland for years to come. The 28-year-old still has three years remaining on his contract.

While players around the league continue to team up to give themselves a better shot at winning a championship, Lillard has made it clear on multiple occasions that he doesn't envision himself following the current trend. He told reporters back in October 2016 that he has "too much pride" to join a super team elsewhere, via The Oregonian:

Of course, it helps that he already has an All-Star caliber player alongside him in Portland in C.J. McCollum. Lillard and McCollum have been teammates for the past five years, and they have formed a strong bond during that time.

"I think as far as me and CJ, our friendship is so strong that it allows us to play really well together on the court, and we get our job done every night,” Lillard said, per Scotto. “But when you talk about winning the championship and competing in the playoffs against teams like Golden State, Houston and San Antonio and all those guys, it’s a group effort. We’ve all got to be able to count on each other to compete at that level. Our team, we've got a lot of guys that care and a lot of guys that work hard. We’ve just got to keep improving."

The Trail Blazers have a solid core to build around with Lillard and McCollum forming one of the best backcourts in the league. And, at least as of now, their leader wants to be around for the long haul.

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