Damian Lillard is one of the biggest stars in basketball history, but many fans disagree on whether he’s underrated or even overrated. Surrounded by future Hall of Famers all around the NBA, where does Lillard find his place in the league?
Lillard’s Empty Trophy Case Hurting His Legacy
Over his career, “Dame Dolla” has averaged 24.6 pts and 6.6 assists. He averaged 30 points in the 2019-2020 season just two years ago.
Dame has played ten seasons in the NBA and has made the playoffs eight times, with one appearance in the Western Conference Finals. In comparison, his colleague Stephen Curry has averaged 24.3 pts over his career, racked up three NBA championships, and is on the verge of his fourth.
I’m not telling you the stats to glorify Stephen Curry but to highlight the root of the issue. The majority of the NBA fan base places its value of greatness on NBA championships won. But through the span of their careers, many players attained multiple accolades but never won an NBA championship.
Reggie Miller, Patrick Ewing, Steve Nash, and most notably, Charles Barkley are a few such examples. Their championship shortcomings ultimately leave a lasting mark on their legacy.
Too Many Comparisons
There is one more issue at hand. The media has a massive impact on the perception of Lillard and creates an unfair bias against him. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Constantly comparing Damian to other superstars in the league belittles his accomplishments.
The NBA is filled with talent, but the Western Conference has been flooded with extraordinary talent over the past couple of years, especially at the point guard position. Players like Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Ja Morant, and Curry have overshadowed Lillard at one point or another.
Many people say that part of the fun of the NBA is comparing great players to other great players, thereby creating never-ending debates on who’s the best. In all honesty, I am one of those people who start never-ending debates and constantly compare greats. My favorite is the good old fashion Michael Jordan versus LeBron James. That is one of my favorite debates, and I enjoy creating imaginary scenarios that pit them up against each other.
Examples like that force me to question Theodore Roosevelt whether comparison really is the thief of joy.
Where does Damian Lillard rank amongst current NBA point guards? Read our point guard power rankings here.
Damian Lillard’s Mysterious Future
I believe that Damian Lillard has had a successful career with the Portland Trail Blazers. But maybe it is time for a change of scenery.
Fighting injuries and Father Time, Dame’s top priority should be taking care of himself and seeking a championship. Currently locked into a four-year contract for $176 million, Lillard will become a free agent in 2025.
I am excited to see where Damian Lillard decides to continue his career and hope he has a promising future. But is he overrated? I’ll leave that up to you, as everybody’s entitled to their own opinion. What Dame has done in the NBA will never be forgotten. I’m just here to play psychic and figure out where he will end up in history. But like always, only time will tell.