CGTN goes one-on-one with Damian Lillard
Damian Lillard recently sat down with the China Global Television Network for an exclusive interview.
From what it means to rep Oakland, to who he thinks the best ball handlers in the NBA are, Lillard gave CGTN all the answers.
Let's take a look at some of the best quotes from the Trail Blazers star...
On what made him a clutch player
"I can't think of one time, but I've had a lot of moments where something just didn't go my way at the time that I needed it to in a game. It just made me not fear what the outcome would be. I remember in the eighth grade I had a game-winning shot. I think we were down by two. I hit a three-pointer with one second left and I took my jersey off and started celebrating. It was one second left and I got tech and the other team got two free throws. We ended up losing the game by one and that was the worst thing that could ever happen. I think it just made me more calm in those situations and it just going to be what it's going to be."
Meaning behind the Letter O, and being loyal to Oakland
"I had so many trying times where it was what I had to lean on. I had a situation in the eighth grade where I was going through something. It went through school and into the summer, but in the summer I had my AAU team that I was traveling with and practicing with. Going into the ninth grade, something else came up at my school so I had to leave that, but then I had another father figure, the guy who coached my AAU team in high school, pulled me in and said how bad do you want it, you got to work out. I always had the game to lean on when the opportunity presented to go down the wrong path. My appreciation for the game, that's why it's always beyond a hundred. That's how I developed that real love for the game."
On the best ball handlers in the NBA
“Kyrie Irving, Steph Curry, CJ McCollum… I think I handle the ball well, as far as you aren't going to take the ball from me, but when it comes to messing around with the ball, I think those three, Lance Stephenson and Kemba Walker."
On the balance between basketball and hip-hop
"I balance basketball with my music. We have a long season during the summer time and that's usually when I do my music. Say we have a road trip and we get blew out and I have a bad game. When I get on the plane, beat myself up about it, maybe I'll pull my laptop out and I listen to instrumentals and I write music. I write about how I'm feeling or how the way I'm feeling is connected to something that isn't connected to basketball."
On earning First-Team All-NBA honors
"How steady I am and how consistent I do what I do at a high-level kind of gets overlooked sometimes. That's been one of the hardest things, to keep doing it over and over, even when it's not respected the way it should be."
On Lillard Time
"Basketball defines who I am. You got to keep proving it every year. So you have got to come correct. I think I was raised that way. Someone who is steady, always there, always doing what I'm supposed to be doing in a game of basketball, especially at the level we play at. I think basketball is who I am"