The majority of sports fans are homers. We see everything through team-colored glasses; Our player is better than yours. It's the nature of the game we love. And with such a mindset comes the inevitable over-valuing of assets. Check out any team message board, read the trade proposals and it's clear as day that fans hold their own players in higher regard.
I bet if you asked fans around Rip City if they would consider dealing Damian Lillard for other point guards such as Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo (pre-ACL) or Kyrie Irving, that you would get a lot of funny looks. Not because the offer isn't fair, but because the city, state, and BlazerManiacs everywhere have already embraced him as the next star in Portland. He's "our" point guard. He's "our" future franchise player. So it's nice when you hear the NBA's elite, such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Kevin Durant dish out the praise to Damian like a fast-break assist, further reinforcing the thought that we do have a special player on our hands.
"Well, I think he's the Rookie of the Year. He's exceeded all expectations and more."
"He's never out of his comfort zone. He's never too fast. He's never too slow. He plays in his own lane. His ability to shoot the ball, to drive the ball, makes him a threat." - LeBron James
"I'm a big fan of Damian Lillard. He's one of the best young point guards in the league, probably the best young point guard. Him and Kyrie Irving are neck and neck." - Kevin Durant.
"You know he's one of those special rookies, the Tony Parker type of special rookie. He comes right in and that rookie tag will be gone real soon. He's a player. They got a good one." - Dwyane Wade
"You know with the numbers he's putting up, he's making a strong case for Rookie of the Year. It's always good to see young point guards come in the league and just take over the way he's been doing." - Kyrie Irving
"I like the fact that he can score. I like the fact that he's run the team. I love his demeanor on the floor. You know he never looks like he's out of control" - Byron Scott
"It's hard not to like him. It's tough to find savvy, talented young point guards. His play belies his experience. He plays like a veteran player." - Erik Spoelstra
"Very rarely do you come in and have the respect of your teammates right off the bat but he has. That just tells you he has high character, he has a great work ethic, and the talent and skill set to lead them." - Scott Brooks