A lot of people scored a lot of points on Feb. 14 when the NBA All Stars gathered north of the border in Toronto. Damian Lillard wasn’t one of those people, so you will forgive him if he just goes ahead and puts up All Star game numbers in regular season games.
Lillard, an Oakland native who played his college ball at the Big Sky’s Weber State, was not selected to the All Star game for the second consecutive year. (He eventually played in the game last year after being selected as an injury replacement.)
This didn’t sit well with the NBA’s fifth leading scorer, who rapped a song called “They Sleep,” expressing his dissatisfaction with being left off the West roster. But this isn’t the first time that Lillard has been snubbed.
In addition to last years All Star game (again, he was added later), the former Wildcat was left off the Team USA’s FIBA World Cup roster in 2014. After being cut from the team that included Steph Curry, Kyrie Irving, John Wall and Derrick Rose, Lillard let the world know how he felt in an interview with the Oregonian.
“More wood on the fire...Not my first time being put off and probably not the last,” Lillard said, correctly predicting his own future. After that snub, Lillard began the next NBA season on absolute fire, proving to those who found him unworthy that he is one of the best players in the league.
Revenge Dame is the best Dame, which is why excitement surrounded the Blazers games after the break. And Dame did not disappoint.
In the first game back from the break, Lillard lit up the best team in the league for 51 points, embarrassing the Warriors in a 32-point blowout victory for the Blazers. In the next game against Utah, Dame scored 31 in a four-point win.
On Tuesday, Dame and backcourt mate C.J. McCollum, a Lehigh Mountain Hawk, scored 34 points each as the Blazers took down Brooklyn 112-104 win.
He has scored 30+ points in five consecutive games, which a Blazer hasn’t done since 1970. Lillard is fifth in the NBA in scoring at 25.1 ppg, and is also seventh in assists at 7.2 apg. The crowd in Portland chanted MVP while he shot free throws last night, and he honestly deserves to at least be part of the discussion.
Lillard has led the Blazers to six consecutive wins, and 15 wins in their previous 18 games to make a playoff push in the West. They are currently tied with Dallas for sixth in the West at 30-27.
While it would be nice to see a Big Sky guy (and close friend/rival of former Griz Will Cherry, who just won a championship in Germany) win a bunch of individual awards, snubbed Dame is one of the most exciting players in the league. Here’s to hoping he can keep up this type of performance without needing to be left off every All Star game in the future, and that the Grizzlies can beat his Wildcats this weekend.