Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard  Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Lillard: 'I'm not going to be participating' in 'meaningless games'

Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard says if the NBA regular season resumes without giving his team a real opportunity to make the playoffs, he won't be a part of it.

"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 [expletive] in there," Lillard told Yahoo Sports during a phone call.

The NBA does not have an official plan laid out for its return but it's largely expected that if and when games do resume, they will either start with the playoffs or have a few games before jumping into the postseason. Currently, the Trail Blazers occupy the 9th seed, as they are 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies. This means that it is unlikely that Portland will make the playoffs.

"We had fought ourselves back into position to get a spot," Lillard said. "We had our starting center and starting power forward coming back, so we had a lot to look forward to and for a great reason. Now, they're healthy and have extra time to train and rehab while everybody's rusty. So now, they won't be coming back as the only rusty players. And if everybody's rusty, we can come in here and beat everybody. "

Lillard feels that given these unique circumstances, more teams deserve a chance to play for the Championship, however unlikely that is to happen.

"It's going to be hard to get going with no fans, you've been off all this time and some people are just ready for summer like, '(Expletive) it, I haven't played in a long time and the season is basically over to me. Do I really care like I cared before?' It's going to be a lot of those factors going on and that presents a lot of room for a team to sneak some (expletive). Like, really mess around and knock some teams off and then, 'Oh, they're in the Western Conference finals.' It's room for that with this situation. So the fact that it's possible and we wouldn't get an opportunity at that, that's weak to me. I ain't getting no younger."

Blake Harper is a writer based in New York. He's originally from San Diego and is one of the few Chargers fans left. He doesn't believe in ties and loves elaborate celebrations. Follow him on Twitter @beezyharps 

The Morning Bark Newsletter. Emailed daily.

You'll receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams.

Emailed daily. Always FREE!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Can you name every player to appear on the cover of NBA Live?

NBA Live 11, 12, 13 and 20 were not released. The first edition, NBA Live 95, featured a live action shot of seven players.

NBA Live 96
Shaquille O'Neal
NBA Live 97
Mitch Richmond
NBA Live 98
Tim Hardaway
NBA Live 99
Antoine Walker
NBA Live 2000
Tim Duncan
NBA Live 2001
Kevin Garnett
NBA Live 2002
Steve Francis
NBA Live 2003
Jason Kidd
NBA Live 2004
Vince Carter
NBA Live 2005
Carmelo Anthony
NBA Live 06
Dwyane Wade
NBA Live 07
Tracy McGrady
NBA Live 08
Gilbert Arenas
NBA Live 09
Tony Parker
NBA Live 10
Dwight Howard
NBA Live 14
Kyrie Irving
NBA Live 15
Damian Lillard
NBA Live 16
Russell Westbrook
NBA Live Mobile
Russell Westbrook
NBA Live 18
James Harden
NBA Live 19
Joel Embiid

Customize Your Newsletter


Get the latest news and rumors, customized to your favorite sports and teams. Emailed daily. Always free!

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.