Damian Lillard says LeBron James was very gracious with his recruitment pitch when he invited the Blazers star to his Brentwood mansion.
It is virtually an open secret that LeBron James has been the shadow GM for his every team. The 19th year veteran has more power with front offices than any other player in NBA history.
So much power, in fact, that James is often credited with ushering in the ‘player power’ era in the NBA. Now whether those claims are founded on truth or not, his pulling power with stars around the league remains unmatched even today.
When LeBron James comes calling and wants you on his squad, there’s usually only one answer. After all, with him comes the allure of becoming instant contenders, most likely in a situation with little pressure.
But Damian Lillard isn’t a lot like other NBA superstars from his time and beyond. He seems to belong to a time when players still wanted to tough it out rather than just win championships.
“LeBron James asked me and I said I wanna be in position to win it all”: Damian Lillard
Dame Dolla has built his whole personality around his superloyal image. It seems basically inconceivable that he’d ever demand a trade away from Portland and the Blazers.
But even Damian Lillard admits that he was pondering about a move away from Rip City this past summer. After all, they’d just been dumped out in the first round by the Jamal Murray-less Denver Nuggets.
Chris Haynes revealed in his tell-all piece about the Blazers superstar’s offseason that Lillard was recruited heavily by LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony to the Lakers. Thus Haynes wrote:
James and fellow Lakers star Anthony Davis were sitting on one side of a table waiting for Lillard. Before they fully dove into lunch of an Italian salad followed by pasta and a fine bottle of rosé wine, James kicked off the conversation, detailing his experience living in Los Angeles.
Lillard did not categorize the meeting as a platform for a recruiting presentation, but rather an information-gathering forum among respected peers.
“’Bron asked what I was thinking with my situation. I told him what I’m telling you: that I just want to be in a position to win it all. He painted the picture to me that if I were to leave, the situation could look like this.”
“He didn’t tell me to come to L.A. He didn’t say anything to me that I didn’t already know other than what it could look like. I told him, ‘I know if I were to play with y’all, I know it would work out because of my skill set,’ and who I am and who they are.”