The king of getting snubbed: A Damian Lillard story
In the past few seasons, Lillard grumbling about missing out on an All-Star or All-NBA team has become almost as regular as the announcements themselves.
So much so that he’s even written a rap about it! (Yes, he raps. We’ll get to that later.)
Compared to Lillard’s rookie season, he’s improved shooting percentages drastically, further improved on his scoring and rebounding, and has kept the Trail Blazers in playoff contention with help from ‘snub prince’ CJ McCollum.
But if Lillard’s accomplished so much, why oh why does he continuously get snubbed?
It’s almost as if he’s the Murphy’s Law of Snubs — if he can get snubbed, he will get snubbed.
According to the extensive Bleacher-Report feature on Lillard, his long line of snubs started with his coaches.
Though his coaches often praise him when asked about fired up style of play, behind closed doors they were secretly trying to put his fire out.
“For Lillard’s sophomore year [of high school], he transferred to the powerhouse program of St. Joseph Notre Dame, most famous for producing Jason Kidd.
Once again, his Oaktown roots would work against him. St. Joe’s was a prep school with a men’s basketball coach, Don Lippi, who wouldn’t warm up to Damian’s fire.
“I was one of the better players,” Lillard remembers, noticeably still unsettled by the memory.
“But the coach had an issue with me like, ‘You’re too aggressive, and you talk trash.’
I didn’t talk trash like that, but if I block somebody’s shot, ‘Get that (s—) outta here.’ If I do a move and score on you and I’m running back and you in the way I’m gonna bump you.
I’m like, I’m not the problem. These (n—s) need to get tougher.”
With the odds against him, Lillard becomes a star at Weber State, makes it to the NBA, AND wins Rookie of the Year.
Still, he was left out of the conversation for the FIBA World Cup.
Coaches for Team USA, Mike Krzyzewski and Jerry Colangelo, not only chose Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, James Harden and Klay Thompson (which there’s no denying, those guys are really good) over Lillard, but they also chose Derrick Rose who was mid-rehab and Mason Plumlee!
In addition, he was also left out of the All-Star game THREE times and was beat by splash bro, Thompson — again! (It’s a whole theme, y’all.)
Now I mentioned earlier that Dame also has dabbled in the music industry, even releasing an album titled Dame D.O.L.L.A.
But even in the industry, Lillard STILL doesn’t receive any respect.
After listening to his countless mixtapes and debut album, a single sentence from a review left me utterly speechless.
“It may be true that the 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year/2x All-Star can string together bars better than his peers who participate in the Instagram #4BarFriday, but he has yet to prove he possesses the lyrical rawness of Allen Iverson or the commercial viability of Shaquille O’Neal.”
Not saying that Dame has a promising career as a rap artist and can quit his day job (which ironically makes more), BUT he’s a whole lifetime better than Shaq and Iverson.
This season, the coaches held the power for All-Star reserves (uh oh), but they FINALLY voted in a point guard who has been denied his rightful status as an All-Star more often than not.
And thank goodness, too. Because he was one snub away from having to change his name to Rodney Dangerfield.
Lillard is averaging 26.7 points, 6.6 assists, 4.5 rebounds, and a steal per game this season. His Blazers are third in the Western Conference and have clinched a playoff birth making it their fifth playoff appearance in as many years.
So could you all please do us a favor and STOP SNUBBING HIM?