DAMIAN Lillard expounded on his statement that he won’t suit up in “meaningless games” in the regular season that the NBA is planning to hold to just fulfill regional television deals, among others plans to resume play.
The Portland Trail Blazers star opened up to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports on Wednesday, Manila time, reacting to reports that one of the league’s plans is to finish the regular season with just 70 games.
"If we come back and they're just like, 'We're adding a few games to finish the regular season,' and they're throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don't have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I'm going to be with my team because I'm a part of the team. But I'm not going to be participating. I'm telling you that right now. And you can put that in there," Lillard told Yahoo Sports.
The Blazers are running ninth in the Western conference at 29-37 and will only have four games left if the idea of the 70-game regular season pushes through, making it tough for them to advance to the playoffs, considering they are 3.5 games behind Memphis for the eighth and last seed.
Lillard explained his side further in a recent episode of ESPN’s Jalen & Jacoby, saying he simply he wants to play in games that matter, giving his full support behind the plan to hold a play-in tournament instead featuring teams fighting for last postseason seeds.
"If they come back and say it's something like a tournament, play-in style, between the No. 7 and No. 12 seeds, if we're playing for playoff spots, then I think that's perfect,” Lillard said.
Winning a play-in tournament in the West will give Damian Lillard and the Blazers a chance to face LeBron James and the top seed Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs.