Reports: Damian Lillard Won’t Play In Games If Blazers Don’t Have Opportunity To Reach Postseason
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former Weber State and current Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard said that he will not play in games if Portland doesn’t have a chance to reach the postseason.
Lillard told Yahoo! Sports that if the NBA resumes with every team participating and if the games are meaningless, he will be sitting on the bench.
“If we come back and they’re just like, ‘We’re adding a few games to finish the regular season,’ and they’re throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don’t have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I’m going to be with my team because I’m a part of the team,” Lillard told Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports. “But I’m not going to be participating. I’m telling you that right now. And you can put that [expletive] in there.”
The Trail Blazers have played 66 games and have a 29-37 record before the season was put on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic. The NBA has not announced whether they will finish the entire 82-game regular season schedule, play a portion of the remaining schedule or go straight to the playoffs.
Portland is currently in ninth place in the Western Conference standings, 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the final playoff spot.
There are two ways that Lillard will not play in games. The first is if the league goes straight to the postseason and the second is if the NBA decides to have teams play 70 games in order to fulfill regional television deals.
The NBA is expected to restart their season sometime in July at ESPN Wide World of Sports at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.