Damian Lillard hasn’t been shy to share his thoughts on Kevin Durant teaming up with the Western Conference Champion Golden State Warriors. In a recent interview on Sirius XM Radio, the Portland Trail Blazers point guard said, “I wouldn’t [join a super team]. I might have too much pride for that that or be too much of a competitor where I couldn’t bring myself to do it, but it also makes it more fun. You get to take a monster down and that’s always fun.”
Lillard joined The Jim Rome Show on Thursday and talked about how this quote along with many of his and other players’ quotes can a lot of times be misconstrued through the media, especially since he’s always speaking his mind. Lillard took time to explain his quote and admitted that he knows Durant and is actually “cool” with him.
“I got a lot of respect for [Durant]. I’m a fan of him as a basketball player, but people took it like I was going at him, which I wasn’t,” Lillard said. “What I was saying was about myself, it wasn’t about anybody else.
“I was saying joining other big time players and joining a team like Golden State is that something I couldn’t see myself doing. We play this game to win and if that’s what somebody is willing to do to win, and if that’s what they want to go and do, then that’s fine. It’s not against the rules. We can’t be mad at anybody for joining whatever team they want to join, but what I was saying, I’d rather do it with the team I have. I’d rather build it up to being a championship team.”
When asked if the media twisting his words would ever lead him to deliver canned answers and clichés, Lillard said no. “I’m always going to say what I feel and say what I think,” he said. “If it ever comes a point where I get asked about it because it’s taking the wrong way I’ll say no, this is what I meant.”
Lillard added that he doesn’t have a problem explaining his meaning as long as people ask him to do so.
“If it came down to it, I could explain I wasn’t coming at somebody or I could explain what I really meant. But I think that’s also a problem in sports sometimes, when you don’t allow players to say what they feel, or when guys tell the truth about what they think about something, or what they feel about something. It becomes an issue, and it’s like he shouldn’t have said this or this guy said that or you kind of force people into wanting to give you a cliché answer.
“They don’t give you details because every time they say something, it gets twisted and turned into something that it’s not, but I don’t really care.”
Lillard and the Trail Blazers kick off the 2016-17 season at home against the Utah Jazz on October 25th.