Let’s start out here by saying take this all with a grain of salt. People’s descriptions of fights after a bar closes often do not match reality.
But a pair of brothers in Oregon told television station KGW that they snapped a picture of Blazers point guard Damian Lillard walking to his car outside a club. Quickly one thing led to another, words were exchanged, other people came around and the brothers say then the entourage of Lillard beat them up.
Two brothers accuse NBA Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard of standing by while his entourage beat the brothers up early Saturday morning in Portland’s Old Town district. According to police, the incident happened around 2:30 a.m. on May 18.
“So I took a picture. And so Damian Lillard was upset that I took his picture, so when he turned around he’s like, “Did you just take my picture?!” said the brother.
“And his entourage just turned around too and they’re like ‘did you just take a picture of Damian Lillard?’ And I was like –and I said ‘Yeah, I did.’ And so I saw that he was clearly upset, they were upset and I was like, ‘Can I apologize to him? Like I’ll go up right now and apologize to him,’” the brother said.
Within minutes, he says the discussion became an all-out fight, which did not involve Lillard but did involve others that the brothers believe were part of Lillard’s group.
Police have confirmed only that the incident is under investigation.
Lillard’s agent told the Oregonian that the Rookie of the Year was not involved.
The Blazers told KOIN that, “We are aware of the alleged incident. Based on preliminary reports, none of our players is considered a suspect in this case.”
Take the word of a guy who spent years as a crime reporter in another life, incidents outside bars are never as clean cut, black-and-white as the patrons like to portray them. Hence the grain of salt — it is possible it was not Lillard’s guys. The Police will try to sort this all out and take whatever action they see fit.
But the Blazers have done a fantastic job in recent years of bringing in character guys and moving away from the “jail blazers” days that frustrated many fans. That makes this a more sensitive issue for the franchise.