Blaz­ers’ Lil­lard still up­set with War­riors’ move

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - — Jon Becker, Mer­cury News

Chase Cen­ter may be the new gold­stan­dard for NBA are­nas, but Blaz­ers guard Damian Lil­lard is no fan of the War­riors’ new home.

His big­gest com­plaint? It’s not Oak­land, where Lil­lard grew up and where his heart re­mains.

Lil­lard, whose Blaz­ers make their first ap­pear­ance in the War­riors’ new digs Mon­day night, takes Golden State’s move to San Fran­cisco per­son­ally.

“There’s a sense of pride in Oak­land about ev­ery­thing that rep­re­sents us and it’s like the War­riors go over the bridge,” Lil­lard told reporters be­fore Mon­day’s game. “Raiders go­ing to Ve­gas, it’s al­most like the money grab, the money moves is push­ing the real love and what’s re­ally be­hind this or­ga­ni­za­tion to the side, which is un­der­stand­able and also not un­der­stand­able be­cause I’m from Oak­land.”

Lil­lard wears his city pride on his jer­sey as he likes to tell peo­ple he’s the only NBA player who doesn’t have a uni­form num­ber — he wears an “O” for Oak­land.

Lil­lard, whose “O” also pays trib­ute to his col­lege town of Og­den, Utah and his NBA home state of Ore­gon, is from East Oak­land’s Brook­field Vil­lage. His old home was less than a five-minute drive to the War­riors’ old home at Or­a­cle Arena. So nat­u­rally he was never go­ing to ac­cept the War­riors’ choice of a new home.

“I don’t like it,” Lil­lard said. “If that’s what y’all want to know. I don’t like it.”

Port­land’s All-Star point guard has saved his best for games against the War­riors. He’s scored more against the War­riors than any other NBA team as he owns a 27.0 scor­ing av­er­age in 24 ca­reer meet­ings. In ad­di­tion, five of his 21 games scor­ing more than 40 points have come against his home­town team.

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