Blazers star Damian Lillard revealed he was almost traded to the Knicks.
As if New York Knicks fans need more star players teasing them about what could have been, Portland Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard told Vanity Fair that he thought he was going to the Knicks a few years ago.
“I thought I was headed [to the Knicks] a few years ago,” Lillard said. “I was hearing trade rumors. The Garden is my favorite place to play.”
In 2018, Stephen A. Smith said on his radio show that if Lillard didn’t stay with the Blazers, his preferred destinations would be the Knicks or Lakers.
Lillard is a five-time All-Star and four-time All-NBA selection. As the Knicks continue their search for an elusive franchise point guard, there are few playmakers in the game who have manned the position better than Dame since he entered the league in 2012-13.
Damian Lillard has used his platform to speak out against social injustice.
The Oakland native has taken an active role in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed at the hands of white police officers. Lillard released a new song “Blacklist” under his stage name Dame D.O.L.L.A., condemning racism and police brutality.
The Blazers were the only team that voted against returning to play this season. Lillard has expressed concerns about playing without anything on the line.
The Knicks had their name attached to several superstar free agents leading up to July 2019 free agency. The team infamously traded Kristaps Porzingis as a path to clearing cap space to sign multiple star players, only to be left empty-handed when both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving decided to join forces in Brooklyn.
Of course, with Irving and Durant yet to play a game together for the Nets, and their long-term health in question, along with Porzingis’, it remains to be seen how much the Knicks really missed out.
With the NBA set to return at the end of July, the Knicks season is officially over. They are set to begin interviewing coaching candidates within the next week, with Tom Thibodeau considered the heavy favorite.