Heading into this season, many analysts new the Portland Trail Blazers would be a bit of a mess. With Damian Lillard trade rumors running rampant and a rookie head coach in Chauncey Billups, there was little hope that this team would be a contender in the Western Conference. So far, all of these predications have come true as the Blazers are 11-18 which is good enough for 11th in the standings. As it stands, they wouldn’t even be eligible for the play-in round.

Now, trade rumors surrounding the superstar point guard are back, and Lillard is speaking out about it. In a report from Marc Spears of The Undefeated, Lillard admitted that this season has been difficult, however, he has absolutely no interest in abandoning the team.

Damian Lillard Addresses Blazers Struggles Amid Trade Rumors
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“We have a new offense. A new style. A new way of playing,” Lillard said. “Me being the leader, I have to overly buy in. I have to show I am committed to that regardless of what it looks like for me, even if I’m struggling offensively to find my spots, to find my way in the offense. Even if I’m missing shots, I got to be the person to show the most buy-in to get everyone to buy in. People are saying, ‘Dame is frustrated.’ I am frustrated with losing and not playing my best. But that doesn’t mean I’m sour on my team and I’m looking elsewhere. … That has never been me. This isn’t my first time being in a tough situation.”

Lillard has always been about “the grind” and it doesn’t appear as though that’s going to stop anytime soon. Lillard could very easily give up on the Blazers as he has all of the leverage in the world. For now, however, Lillard is poised to be a Blazer until retirement.

Damian Lillard Addresses Blazers Struggles Amid Trade Rumors
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[Via]