Training camp and the 2023-24 NBA season are about to begin, but not until all 30 teams participated in their respective media days. For the Portland Trail Blazers, that meant everyone – from players to coaches to executives – got a chance to (or were forced to) answer questions about the Damian Lillard trade.
The forever Blazers icon was dealt to the Milwaukee Bucks in a three-team trade that netted, in part, Deandre Ayton and Jrue Holiday. It turned out to be the trade that kept on giving as general manager Joe Cronin was able to flip Holiday for on-court assets Robert Williams III and Malcolm Brogdon, as well as two future first-round picks.
With a franchise-altering trade of those proportions, it was a given that every person at the podium would be asked about Damian Lillard in one way or another.
Portland Trail Blazers players, coaches comment on Damian Lillard at media day
The following are a few of the quotes that came out of media day concerning Lillard (per Sean Highkin of The Rose Garden Report) – his impact on individuals and the organization as a whole, what it will be like to see him step on an NBA floor wearing another jersey and what his absence means for the team as it retools around a young and talented roster.
And, perhaps most importantly for the franchise moving forward: