Portland Trail Blazers: Unrequited Love of Damian Lillard with Rip City

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

When Bill Schonely gave Portland Trail Blazers the nickname “Rip City” in 1971, it changed the culture of Portland forever; since then, Portland has been recognized as the diehard nature of the fanbase for the Blazers.

The Blazers missed a playoff berth last time in the 2012-13 season when Damian Lillard won Rookie of the Year. After that season, the Blazers have lost in the first round in five of those eight seasons, lost conference semis in two seasons, and a blow out loss (4-0 sweep) in the conference finals in the 2018-19 season against the Warriors.

In game 2 of that series, Lillard separated his ribs, but he continued to play the rest of the series in pain. In game 5 of this season against the Nuggets, Lillard hit a playoff record 12 3-pointers and scored a playoff career-high 55 points in double overtime. In the playoffs this season, Lillard scored almost 45% from the deep, 34.3 points per game, and 10.2 assists.

There is no doubt that Lillard deserves a championship with the Blazers.. But, after the first-round exit this season, the Blazers and coach Terry Stotts mutually agreed to part ways. Stotts had been coaching the team since 2012-13, the same season when Lillard was drafted. So, is this the indication of the parting of ways of Lillard too?

Will Rip City see the end of Dame Era in Moda Center? Or, will the new coach change the fortune of the team like Atlanta and New York saw this season?

Lillard won the NBA teammate award this year, but did his teammates do enough? The current trade value of Lillard is sky high, and trading Lillard would be very painful for the Blazers. However, if Lillard privately asks team management for a trade, things will be easier, but this has not been the case so far. So, is Lillard gonna stay with the Blazers? Will the team management trade someone else from the roster and recruit a supporting cast around Lillard? But, if Lillard stays, then a few more years of early playoff exits will be worse.

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