Damian Lillard says his belief is that the Portland Trail Blazers are moving in the right direction as he hopes this season will be better than the last one. "I think over the years we've always had a competitive team, I think we'll be competitive again," Lillard said Monday at the team's media day.
"Obviously, at the end of last season I wanted to see our roster improve. I wanted us to have a better chance to win. And we had our conversations throughout the summer about what that looked like, and how we could take steps in that direction.
I come into this season with faith that that's going to happen." Last season, the Trail Blazers suffered a first round exit in the playoffs. After the early exit, the speculation began to circle that Lillard could demand a trade for the first time in his career.
Lillard stayed with the Trail Blazers but admitted that he didn't expect his team to bring a superstar. "We've established so much as a team and as an organization, we don't want to just go do something to just to say, 'I made a change,'" Lillard said.
"You want it to be in line with something that could actually make us better, something that could send us to the level that we're trying to get to. We've done some things that I like. I didn't expect us to go out there and get Kevin Durant all of the sudden."
Coach acnowledges the importance of having Lillard
Lillard has been with the Trail Blazers his entire career and he is an absolute fan favorite. "Everybody knows the affinity he has for the city, for the fan base.
He's really excited," Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups said. "At the end of the day, Dame wants exactly what we all want, and that's to be successful and win. I think he's happy with what's happened this summer, with our roster being a lot deeper.
A little less pressure for him to be absolutely amazing every single night." Lillard also said that taking the vaccine was an easy decision. "I have a lot of people in my family who I'm tight with and spend a lot of time around, and I'm just not going to put their health or their lives in danger because I have to go do research," Lillard said.
"As a kid, I had to get shots my whole life, before I went to college, I had to get shots. And I couldn't tell you one thing about any of them."