Blazers’ Lillard still upset with Warriors’ move
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.