Portland Trail Blazers Rumors: Don’t panic over Chris Haynes-Damian Lillard report

Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, Portland Trail Blazers rumors (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, Portland Trail Blazers rumors (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, Portland Trail Blazers rumors
Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, Portland Trail Blazers rumors (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

A Chris Haynes tweet on Sunday, June 27th about Damian Lillard shook many Portland Trail Blazers fans to their core.

Blazers fans were quick to share their disgust over the organization’s decision to name Chauncey Billups its next head coach due to his past history with sexual abuse. Before the coaching search began, Portland reported that Lillard would be a key contributor in the process. Therefore, many infuriated fans connected the dots and placed blame on Dame himself.

Whether or not that’s entirely fair is up to each individual to decide. Lillard was barely older than a toddler when the incident happened. While it’s true that Dame did sit in on the front office’s interview with Billups, it’s not clear whether that dialogue included questions about the new coach’s sexual assault case.

Damian Lillard isn’t out the door just yet

Lillard clearly felt the backlash from the fans and was transparent about how he felt unfairly judged, as he quote tweeted a statement of denial and asserted that he was unaware of Billups’s criminal history.

Facing such harsh criticisms after another disappointing postseason exit is sure to bring up all sorts of negative emotions and possibly even hasty reactions—fans should take that into account and consume the Hayne’s report with a grain of salt.

There’s certainly reasons to believe that Lillard will stay in the city he’s called home for nearly a decade.

For one, Lillard is signed through 2025 and is a pure hooper. The gamer in him leads me to believe that no matter what happens, Dame will honor his contract and give the team 110 percent, even if a trade request is formally submitted. The Blazers have no reason to trade him with four seasons left on his deal and nary a decent package available.

Dame has also been nothing but loyal to Portland since the moment he stepped foot in Rip City. He’s never blamed anybody for losses except himself, never asked for more talent around him, never hinted of a desire to be anywhere else. Every chance he gets, he expresses how much he loves his team and his ambition to win a title where he was drafted.

It’s also telling that the organization finalized its contract with Billups after all the backlash and the Chris Haynes report. As inept as the Blazers front office has been, I doubt that they would follow through with the hiring if they knew it could potentially force Lillard out of Portland.

It’s also encouraging that Damian Lillard liked a tweet from a “real Blazers fan” after the Haynes report.

I don’t agree wholly with the tweet’s sentiment, and Lillard may not either, but it brings solace to know that he hasn’t completely shut out the Blazers and their faithful.

Lillard, from what we know, has always been a man of great character. I have the utmost faith that he will understand that the rage pouring from some of the Portland fanbase is coming from a place of compassion; a group of fans that has held him in the highest esteem and expects the very best from him. Perhaps they were too quick to jump to conclusions, but if what he is saying is true, then there’s no reason he shouldn’t understand where they’re coming from.

Until Lillard formally asks out, there’s no reason to believe that he’ll be anywhere else next season.

dark. Next. Which teams are most likely to inquire about CJ McCollum?