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) /

A realistic, optimistic projection on how Lillard’s legacy could play out

Observing Lillard’s prime in real-time makes this sort of comparison all the more paradoxical. We can’t be sure what the Portland Trail Blazers are equipped to do, as far as putting a championship product around their superstar guard.

It certainly helps the cases of say, Westbrook, Irving and Paul that they’ve been able co-star or “Robin” during their most meaningful seasons. Lillard, meanwhile, has had an extremely different peregrinate towards the championship journey, acting as the de-facto No. 1 guy for essentially every one of them.

So, what is attainable for Damian Lillard?

As he’s been quoted in saying, consistency is boring. But by the end of his career, it may not be. Because he’s been the most constantly-available player of his time — he’s played in 95.2 percent of a possible 691 games — he has a chance to do some special things.

Special things like: maybe becoming the highest-scoring point guard in NBA history?


Think about it: he’s already sitting on 14,586 points. The highest-scoring point guard as of today is Gary Payton, at 21,813 points. Your mind probably went to Stephen Curry, but even he’s only 2,000 points — one average Lillard season — ahead of the Blazers’ star. And he’s 32-years-old.

For Lillard, finding the bits-and-pieces to be remembered among the top of could become the way of the game. He’s one of only eight players in NBA history to score at least 1,500 points in each of the first eight seasons of his career.

Throw that on top of him being the most-feared crunch-time assassin of his time, the most loyal, and a player who won’t be a slouch on the assists, steals, and games played leaderboards, and it doesn’t at all appear unlikely to envision him not knocking on the door for a spot among the top-10, top-12 guys to ever play point guard.

Much of how we view players is predicted on how their teams perform. So, Lillard will inarguably need a few more 2019-esque Playoff runs. Our very own Ryan Gaskin tackled the question in a brilliant article, likening Lillard to all-time great Allen Iverson, and how his days of trying to guide suboptimal teams to championship runs ended early into his 30s.

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In a best case scenario, Lillard tacks on run-after-run, with-or-without a championship, and has enough juice to push his prime into his mid-30s. And if so, just about any argument against him can be given his patented goodbye wave.