Damian Lillard Reveals Blazers Made Him Fake Injury For Better Draft Pick

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PORTLAND, OREGON - APRIL 09: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers looks on during the third quarter against the Golden State Warriors at Moda Center on April 09, 2023 in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Dame didn't hold back while speaking with his friend Chris Haynes.

Damian Lillard has finally broken his silence about his months-long trade saga. "How this summer played out behind the scenes definitely left a sour taste in my mouth. But it doesn't change the amazing experiences I've had with the Trail Blazers and this city. I'll always cherish this place. This is my home. I'll always live here regardless," Lillard told Bleacher Report. However, that was about as nice as it got when it came to his now-former team. Lillard claimed he was asked to fake a calf injury by the Blazers for the final 10 games of the 2022-23 season to improve their draft pick. Furthermore, Lillard was told this was in aid of attracting trades for an elite co-star. However, the trade never came and Portland drafted Scoot Henderson third overall.

Additionally, Lillard alleged that Portland burned the bridge. Despite an attempt at reconciliation, Blazers GM Joe Cronin told Lillard's camp there was no coming back. "I went into the facility because I was still on the roster and usually that time of the year is when team activities start to pick up as a group. I wasn't confident I would be moved so I showed up to be in the mix, I didn't go there to cause any problems. That's not my character. If they felt that way, it wasn't my intent. I was just trying to get acclimated and everyone was happy to see me. Every single person except Joe. He never spoke to me. And when I noticed that, I made up in my mind that I'm not going out my way to speak to him."

Read More: Damian Lillard Says “Farewell” To Portland With New Single

Lillard Looking At New Start In Milwaukee

Now Lillard is preparing for a new start in Milwaukee. The superstar described himself as being "excited" for the move when he tweeted about the trade earlier this week. "The casuals won’t be addressed but the trailblazers fans and city of Portland that I love truly will be and they will be addressed truthfully. Stay tuned. Excited for my next chapter! @Bucks🎟️," Lillard wrote on X, formerly Twitter. The replies were full of well-wishers as the Blazer faithful were sad, yet accepting, of their superstar's departure.

If there's a winner in this trade, it's Giannis Antetokounmpo. Milwaukee's star has been vocal in recent weeks about the need for the franchise to surround him with talent. Now he has a co-star who was top five in points per game last season and top ten in assists per game.

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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.