Portland Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard says he’s the best point guard in the NBA? Is he right?
The want away Blazers star had quite a few things to say recently and some of his comments definitely turned heads. Let’s take a look at what went down.
Is he right? Is he delusional? Perhaps he’s right within a certain context. No matter how you cut it, Damian Lillard’s declaration that he’s the best in his position has left many scratching their heads.
Damian Lillard says he’s the best PG in the NBA
If you missed Damian Lillard’s appearance on Tuesday’s edition of the “It Is What It Is” show, then you missed a doozy. That’s to say some of his comments on the show were definitely viral-worthy. For starters, Lillard explained that he never considered joining the Golden State Warriors, but the real kicker was when he stated that he’s the NBA’s best point guard right here and now, that is better than even Stephen Curry. You can see a clip of the moment below, but it’s worth noting that there is wider context and Lillard had more to say.
For starters, Lillard was speaking about his confidence in any head-to-head scenario, which he believes is better than Curry’s. One also has to consider that Lillard like any high-profile player isn’t exactly in the realm of delusion as it’s quite common for stars to believe themselves the best or at least state that they do, and well, it’s not like Lillard isn’t actually very very good. Do recall that it wasn’t that long ago that Curry himself declared that he believed himself to be the best point guard in history i.e., better than Lakers legend Magic Johnson. Of course, whether you agree with the Warriors star or not isn’t the point, it’s simply a testament to the common trend set by major athletes when it comes to displaying their self-belief.
Dissecting Damian Lillard’s stance
Though the debate will continue, one can understand that when it comes to any top-tier player, it’s almost an occupational requirement that they think in such a manner. Think prizefighters in the world of boxing. If you don’t think you’re the best then who will? This is all to say that it’s quite likely that it’s not a case of Lillard consciously thinking he’s better than Curry or whoever else lines up against him, but rather that he’s the best in general because that’s how he needs to think in order to do his job.
Take into consideration his response when he was asked about Curry directly. While he did acknowledge Magic Johnson as the No. 1, he did go on to concede that Curry is more of a shooting guard rather than a traditional point guard which is to say, worthy of the debate if even with a disclaimer. “I think Steph is right there [with Magic],” Lillard said. “But I think, just as somebody that plays against Steph, you know, I’ve played against him a lot and we’ve been playing in the league at the same time, I think a lot of the time he’s more in a shooting guard type of role. It’s a lot of movement, off the ball.” Lillard continued with an interesting point. “Draymond [Green] is almost the actual point guard of the team, even though Steph is the [listed] point guard,” he said “I think if Steph played in an offense like me, where it was required for him to have to have the ball more, we would get to see him do more point guard stuff.”
So, is Damian Lillard correct?
It’s interesting to note when looking at Lillard’s comments that he appears to allude to a definition of what a point guard actually is. To that end, it seems that it’s on that basis that he makes his comparison with Curry. If we take that at face value, then one could argue that Lillard has a point i.e., Curry isn’t a true point guard and therefore isn’t in the same category as Lillard when it comes to the question of ‘who’s the best?’ On the other hand, such nuances will almost certainly be ignored when dealing with the Blazers star’s black-and-white stance that he is in fact the best in the position today. For us, the jury is out but we imagine you will all have your take.
Why wouldn’t Damian Lillard join the Warriors?
Aside from the rhetoric surrounding Lillard’s comments about Curry and the umbrella debate about who’s the best PG, it was perhaps his comments about the Warriors themselves that gave true insight into how he really feels.
“As far as Golden State, I respect what they’ve been doing over the last eight, nine years or whatever. And I’m from [the Bay Area], obviously that’s home,” Lillard said. “But I can’t go be a part of that. They won four championships. What I look like going to try to do that, saying, ‘I’m joining my home team.’ No, [they got] somebody that plays my position that, behind LeBron [James], is the best player of this era. So to me that don’t even make sense.” Surely that’s the debate put to bed, no?