The NBA world has spent the past several years trying to separate Damian Lillard from the Portland Trail Blazers. Year after year he has watched superstars team up and win championships in other cities as he remained on flawed Blazer rosters, waiting for the opportunity to get there himself. He still hasn’t quite reached that pinnacle, but on Monday, his loyalty to Portland was rewarded in another way.Lillard entered Monday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder with 18,020 career points. That put him 20 points behind Clyde Drexler, with 18,040, for the most in Blazers history. And in the third quarter in Oklahoma City, Lillard sank the free throw that officially made him the leading scorer in Blazers history.
Assuming Lillard remains in Portland, he’ll pass Drexler for a number of other team records in the not-too-distant future. He entered Monday having played in 138 fewer games than Drexler, having played roughly 3,000 fewer minutes and having made roughly 1,000 fewer field goals. All of those records should be attainable in the next year or two. He is less than 100 assists shy of Drexler, but roughly 500 short of record-holder Terry Porter.
Team records are broken less and less often these days because great players rarely spend enough time in one place to do it. Lillard is the exception. He may not ever get the championship he craves in Portland, but he is cementing his place in team history with each passing game. When the dust settles, he may just hold every major record in team history.