Damian Lillard’s advice to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

NBA Analytics Network

Monday was a memorable night for the Portland Trail Blazers. Despite losing the game to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Damian Lillard broke the franchise record for points scored, surpassing Clyde Drexler with a free throw late in the third quarter. It was a special moment, even doing this in the arena of a rival NBA team.

Lillard has remained steadfast in his desire to make the Trail Blazers a contender. He decided not to ask for a trade when the opportunity arose and always re-signed with the team when his contract expired. He hasn’t teamed up with other superstars on other teams and wanted to push things through.

While that may not result in championship success, there’s something special about playing your entire career with one franchise, which Lillard seems destined to do. He has been in favor of that and now shares some words of advice for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Gilgeous-Alexander is enjoying a breakout season with the Thunder, averaging a career-high 31.3 points per game, along with 5.8 assists, 4.6 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. He made the winning shot to beat Portland on Monday night, one of several high points he’s set this season.

LATEST NBA NEWS: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander & Oklahoma City Thunder Updates

Many people believe that Gilgeous-Alexander could be the next young star to move. Constantly rebuilding, the Thunder are winning more games this season than in years past, but they are still unlikely to make a playoff push.

Some have indicated that Gilgeous-Alexander could look like a reason to leave Oklahoma City. But Lillard gave him some words of advice after Monday’s matchup, hinting that staying with the Thunder may be the best course of action.

“He’s in a situation where he’s free playing. … He’s got a group of guys who understand he’s the leader, he’s the man. … His career is in a great position. … I would say the grass isn’t always greener is on the other side…”

That’s good advice from Lillard, who knows the temptation to move on to another franchise can be great. But sometimes it can be more rewarding to ride things out with the franchise you know.

LATEST NBA NEWS: Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander & Oklahoma City Thunder Updates

Oklahoma City is in an excellent spot with the high upside young players they have and all the draft capital. They are in a position to add talent around Gilgeous-Alexander rather than him trying to leave and team up with players elsewhere.

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