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Blazers Damian Lillard Obsessed With Beating The Golden State Warriors

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The Portland Trailblazers were swept by the Golden State Warriors on Monday night and the 4-0 series defeat proved that Portland isn’t close to competing with one of the best teams in the Western Conference.

Portland guard Damian Lillard’s competitive spirit came out in postgame comments he made to ESPN that showed just how dedicated he can be to the Blazers’ overall success.

“You have to be obsessed with that because you know that they’re so good that they’re going to be there,” Lillard said after Game 4. “That’s who you’re going to have to get through to get to where you want to get to. That’s what it is.”

Although Lillard had another strong season and the Blazers made a strong push down the stretch to make the NBA Playoffs, he isn’t satisfied with how the season turned out.

“I wouldn’t say it was a successful year,” Lillard said.

“We got tested, and I think we answered the bell. I felt like we showed our true colors by the way we fought. But I wouldn’t say successful. I think it was growth. A year of growth for us.”

Lillard believes that in order to be successful in the Western Conference, you have to beat the Golden State Warriors.

“You also got to understand that if you ever want to get out of the West, you’re going to have to go through them,” Lillard said.

“And for me, I understand that’s what it is. It’s always been that way in the NBA. I think about when the Pistons were just beating up on [Michael] Jordan. [They] were just kicking his butt every year, and he had to get through them if he wanted to get to where he wanted to get to. That’s just what it is. [The Warriors are] going to be there. They’re going to be there every year. We have to look at that and understand that we got to be better. We have to go get better, and come back better as a group if we want to move past them.”

Although there may be a somber feeling around Blazers Nation today, Warriors forward Kevin Durant had some encouraging words for both Lillard and the Blazers team, which he believes are only a few pieces away from competing.

“I think they want somebody on the wing that can take the pressure off those two guards [C.J. McCollum and Lillard], somebody that’s big for their position. But they’re right there, man. They’re a good team. They started off slow. I think they should have been a higher seed, but they fought their way to get in the playoffs. They have a future center in [Jusuf] Nurkic who took them over the top, but I think they need another ball handler on the wing to get them going. It’s going to be fun playing against these guys in the next few years.”

While the Blazers didn’t put up much of a fight during the short series with the Warriors, they made an impression on their way out of the NBA Playoffs.

Anthony DiMoro is the creator of Sports Rants and the CEO of Elite Rank Media and DiMoro Enterprises LLC. He is a former Contributor for Forbes and the Huffington Post where he covered sports, social media, and SEO. Anthony hosts the Anthony DiMoro Show podcast, and formerly hosted the 'Forbes SportsMoney Podcast'.

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Golden State Warriors

Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins Says Fans Have Called Him ‘N—-r’, Says He’s Reported it to League

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Golden State Warriors big man DeMarcus Cousins is speaking out about how NBA fans treat players, revealing that fans have called him the N-word during games and stating that he had reported the incidents to the league.

Cousins discussed the incidents during an interview with Chris Haynes on the ‘Posted Up’ podcast:

“Oh, I’ve been called n—-r, and it’s crazy because this has happened to me on a few occasions. I reported it to the league, and, you know, I may have said whatever I said back, and I was still punished for it. But obviously it became a bigger issue when it was Russ [Westbrook] and he was still fined for it. I don’t really understand it. We’re the product. We push this league. So, I don’t understand. When does our safety, when does, it become important?”

While Cousins spoke candidly about his experiences, he did not specific which cities in which he heard the racial slurs.

“I don’t really want to, because I’m not really trying to put a label on an entire fan base” Cousins said when discussing which cities he heard the slurs. T”here are ignorant individuals in every city. I’ll just put it like that. [NBA] tells you to ignore it, or whatever the case may be. But how many times am I supposed to ignore that? Me coming from where I come from [Mobile, Alabama]. They lucky all they got was a response.”

While Cousins did not mention any cities or teams, Haynes reported that one city was Sacramento, where Cousins spent the majority of his career playing for the Kings.

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Cleveland Cavaliers

Steph Curry Talks LeBron James Trash Talking During Game 1 of NBA Finals

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Golden State Warriors superstar Steph Curry is gearing up, along with his team, to defend their 2018 NBA Championship, their 2nd in a row and 3rd in 4 years, when the 2018-2019 regular season kicks off this fall, but he is still discussing the 2018 NBA Finals.

Curry specifically is discussing his shock as the trash talk from then Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James, which threw Curry off.

Curry and James’ relationship is seemingly in an odd place. James was “like a mentor” to Curry when curry was in college playing at Davidson, but things seem a bit icy now as Curry’s Warriors and James’ Cavaliers (James is now on the Los Angeles Lakers) met in some heated battles in the NBA Finals over the past couple of years.

Despite the shift in their relationship, Curry was still caught of guard by James’ approach, particularly in Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals.

“It was never going to spill over to that” Curry said, during an appearance on The Bill Simmons Podcast (h/t NBC Sports Bay Area’s Drew Shiller).

“But it was an interesting moment …I was hot because I was trying to finish out a possession, I think it was less than a minute left, I didn’t see him coming over from the weak side so I tried to do a little soft scoop layup and he pinned it. Then he stared me down and he said something to me.

“And I was like, ‘That’s what we’re really on right now? We’re about to win and you’re worried about mean-blocking my shot and talking trash?’ And then the whole Tristan and Draymond thing happened and I went back up to him and I was like, ‘Yo, what’s up? Is this really what we’re about right now?’

“And he was like, ‘I gotta do that to make sure my teammates know I’m a mentor’ and it’s a part of his leadership and that type of deal. And I was like, ‘I don’t want to be the sacrificial lamb for your leadership.’ (laughter). Come on man, that’s messed up.”

The rift goes a bit deeper than that, and a book from The Athletic’s Marcus Thompson, entitled ‘Golden: The Miraculous Rise of Steph Curry’, it is elaborated, highlighting a 2016 Halloween Party thrown by James that featured a dummy of Steph Curry that was on the floor, forcing guests to step over it.

Now that the two are in the same division, thanks to James’ signing with the Lakers, betting websites will have a field day this season when the two teams take the court, and James continues his mission to topple the juggernaut Warriors.

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Cleveland Cavaliers

Cavs’ Tristan Thompson Allegedly Punched Warriors’ Draymond Green at Night Club

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Cleveland Cavaliers forward Tristan Thompson and Golden State Warriors’ forward Draymond Green apparently took their on-court beef off the court as the two allegedly had an altercation at a Los Angeles night club.

According to online gossip site Bossip, Green had approached Thompson to apologize for what happened after Game 4 of the NBA Finals, but Thompson wasn’t interested.

When Green persisted, Thompson punched Green.

Green and Thompson got into it numerous times throughout the Finals, with Green even insulting Thompson as Thompson attempted to shake his hand following the infamous Game 4.

Here is more from The Big Lead’s Jason McIntyre:

 

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