Damian Lillard
Photo: David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Damian Lillard reacted to Stephen A. Smith telling him he should leave the Portland Trail Blazers and join a title contender.

Smith said it’s time for Lillard to leave Portland and the All-Star guard called him out for his comments.

“I think, for every person that says you know I want to see him on the big stage, and I want to see him go to a bigger market and all these things, of course those things have pros, but nobody ever wants to think about the cons.

If you take that step and it’s not what it seems to be, and it doesn’t work out, or an injury happens, and you haven’t established as much of a rapport with that team, and they chose one guy over the next guy and now you’re traded to a third team, things can fall apart.

That may never happen, but it’s just a lot of things you can’t control. You got to consider both sides. But for me, it would have to come down to my team saying look, we’re going in a different direction, and we don’t want to hold you hostage, basically, and what route do you want to go.

For every person that has that to say, I’m saying if everybody doesn’t think I can do it in Portland and we can’t win in Portland, what does it mean and what happens when we do? If we actually go and do it, then where does that put me? Where does that put my legacy? Where does that put my career?” Damian Lillard said.

“My whole career, everybody’s been saying, ‘he should go to this team’ or ‘he should go to a bigger market,’ and all these things, so at the end of the day, if we just go and win it, then what? Where does that put me? And that’s how I see it,” Lillard explained, via Lindsey Wisniewski of NBC Sports.

Damian Lillard has played for the Blazers since 2012. He is under contract with the team until the end of the 2024/25 season.