WW presents “Distant Voices,” a daily video interview for the era of social distancing. Our reporters are asking Portlanders what they’re doing during quarantine.
If it wasn't for Damian Lillard, Jason Quick isn't sure he'd still be writing about the Portland Trail Blazers.
"If he wasn't on this team, I would probably be out of the business," says Quick, who covered the franchise for The Oregonian from 2000 until 2015, and now does so nationally for The Athletic. "He adds a lot of joy and fulfillment for me, personally and professionally. If he wasn't here, I'm not so sure I'd still be doing this."
A lot of Blazers fans might agree. The point guard out of Weber State just lifted the team on his back, carrying them to their seventh straight playoff appearance, averaging 37 points in the NBA's eight-game restart and unanimously winning the MVP of "the Bubble" down in Orlando.
Of course, many questions remain about the Blazers as a whole, particularly when it comes to their woeful defense and how they might fair against the No. 1 seed Los Angeles Lakers. But ask Quick, and there's not much left to say about Lillard.
"He's entering that realm of the biggest superstars the Blazers have had," he says. "And I think right now, after what he's done in Orlando, he's going to go down as the greatest Blazer of all time."
With the first round of the NBA playoffs beginning Tuesday, Quick spoke to WW about the upcoming series, what it's like to cover Lillard off the court, the pressure the front office faces in reciprocating Dame's desire to bring Portland a championship, and just what the hell is up with those dreadful third quarters.
See more Distant Voices interviews here.