The Miami Heat continue to look for ways to try and get Damian Lillard to join the team.
The disgruntled star has finally requested a trade away from the Portland Trail Blazers.
Moreover, he’s let it be known that he only wants to be traded to the Miami Heat; thus fueling a strong debate regarding the player empowerment movement and whether what he’s doing is actually good for the league.
That’s why former NBA champion Gary Payton came to Lillard’s defense.
Gary Payton on Dame requesting a trade to Miami:
“Everybody should chase a championship. Why are we playing basketball? That is the whole object of playing basketball.”
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) July 24, 2023
According to a report by Heat beat writer Ira Winderman, the former Defensive Player of the Year fully supports Lillard’s desire to take his talents to South Beach, stating that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to win an NBA championship, as that should be the main reason and ultimate goal for all players.
Notably, Payton knows one thing or two about that.
He chased a ring by joining the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat — where he finally won one in his final season in the NBA — after a long and successful career with the Seattle Supersonics.
Truth be told, Lillard has done more than enough to be deserving of a chance to compete; no one can deny that.
However, perhaps the real issue here is that players under contract shouldn’t get to handpick their next destination; that’s what free agency is for, and that’s one of the main reasons behind the new CBA and why some other players in the future might make less money in their new contracts.NEXT: Heat Reportedly Frustrated With Blazers Amid Damian Lillard Saga