Portland Trail Blazers: Comparing Damian Lillard to other all-time great PGs

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /
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Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

Blazers star Damian Lillard recently shared his thoughts on the top three PGs of all-time. With age 30 just months away, how does his own legacy compare to the NBA’s greatest floor generals?

It’s been three months since the loss of Kobe Bryant, but life lessons and internal thoughts continue to permeate throughout our everyday lives. As it relates to Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and superstar players in general, there’s a pivotal question worth asking:

Why do we have to wait to give players their “roses,” — or appreciation — until after they’re gone and retired?

Like the rest of the basketball world, Damian Lillard shared his thoughts on The Last Dance, offering that Detroit Pistons guard Isiah Thomas was one of the three best point guards to ever play.


It caused a bit of a division among the basketball world, a schism between advanced stat watchers who’ve likely never seen Thomas play, and the ones that had, and freely gave him the respect he deserves as a luminary for future point guards, and an NBA champion to boot.

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But, how about Lillard? One fan asked Lillard where he would rank himself, and, humble as ever, he declared he wasn’t there.

By the start of the 2020-21 season, age 30 will come-a-knocking, and that means we can begin to entertain thoughts and ideas on if Lillard has a reasonable case to be recognized as one of the five, or perhaps ten greatest floor generals to ever play.

There are tons of different routes one could go with this. The cause-and-effect of basketball fans’ love affair with spreadsheets and data means that maybe, just maybe, those pair of All-Star snubs perhaps won’t mean as much. We’ll take that into account when comparing Lillard to some of the greats, but it’s worth thinking about where Lillard’s resume stacks up against those guys before they turned 30.

Just for future reference: while it’s virtually never safe to doubt Lillard, the odds of him passing Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson or Stephen Curry are probably more than an arm’s reach away, so they’ll be omitted. Also note: ESPN ranks Allen Iverson and  Jerry West as “shooting guards,” so we’ll do accordingly. They would each fit in that same Tier I if presented, but these are essentially pure point guards.

That in mind, here’s how Lillard looks in comparison to other guards at pre-30.