LeBron James Says He’d Love To Team Up With Damian Lillard

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

Over the summer, we found out Damian Lillard is a huge LeBron James fan when he seemed to suggest the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar had already surpassed Michael Jordan in terms of greatness.

And while LeBron wasn’t willing to offer comparable praise to Lillard last week, it’s clear that he’s a fan of the Portland Trail Blazers point guard’s game.

“I think we all know how Damian Lillard has been playing as of late,” James said at shootaround ahead of the Cavs’ Thursday road game against the Blazers. “I mean he’s playing at the All-Star level that he showed obviously when he was at the All-Star game. That guy’s a superstar in our league and he’s showing it right now. He’s leading the team obviously where I don’t think a lot of people thought they’d be at the beginning of the season. But him as the leader of the team he has them in position to fight in the West.”

LeBron also denied the idea that the three-time All-Star is underappreciated, adding that no one would think that if Lillard were on his squad.

“No, I don’t think so. I don’t think so, but he definitely uses that. I like how he uses that. If you’re a true basketball (mind) — there’s not a lot of true basketball minds and people that understand the game — but for me, I understand it. I know. Give me Damian Lillard. I’ll show you how appreciated he’ll be.”

A day earlier, Lillard told ESPN of LeBron: “He’s definitely somebody that should be appreciated more. People will definitely appreciate him more and they’ll look back on what he’s done and wish they had given him his respect and his love as he’s deserved over the course of his career.”

It’s nearly inconceivable to think LeBron’s Cavs could assemble a trade package worthy of netting Lillard in return this summer, and it’d take an act of god for the capped-out Blazers to create enough salary space to make room for LeBron, though the proximity to Nike headquarters could be tempting.

Still, that hasn’t stopped Blazers fans from joining the ranks of fan bases trying to tempt LeBron with billboards.