Damian Lillard will not compete in the 2020 All-Star Game or three-point contest after suffering a right groin strain Wednesday night in Memphis.
"I don’t think it makes sense to try and force myself to be out there doing stuff just so I can not miss out on it," Lillard said. "I’ve been there. I’ve done it all before. I’m sure I’ll have more opportunities to do it. But I want to make sure that I’m healthy. So, when the break is over, I’m rested and I’ve done all that I can do to be ready as soon as possible."
He will, however, travel to Chicago and undergo an MRI Thursday to reveal the extent of the injury. He'll still be present during the festivities.
Some might wonder why Lillard doesn't fly back to Portland to rest up.
Well, outside of not wanting to miss the All-Star festivities, it is a big weekend for sponsors, and Damian Lillard has a few of them.
Also, Dame D.O.L.L.A. is scheduled to perform this upcoming weekend in Chicago.
Dame D.O.L.L.A. on the mic, All-Star Saturday night. https://t.co/x3hkfcUdMG— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 7, 2020
It's unclear if he still will, but he should keep that commitment. And someone who should join him on stage is Shaquille O'Neal.
Why? Well, aside from the glaringly obvious reasons, if you're not familiar with the diss tracks Lillard and Shaq exchanged earlier this season, let's do a quick refresher.
The beef started after Damian Lillard appeared on "The Joe Budden Podcast" and suggested that Shaquille O'Neal’s rap success was more due to Shaq’s game than him actually spitting real game on the mic.
“You think you got better music than Shaq?”
“I think I rap better than Shaq,” he said. “I think he was viewed as Shaq. People [weren't] looking at him like he was a real rapper. They was like, ‘That’s Shaq rapping,’ so of course it was a big deal.”
Shaq didn’t take kindly to that comment and answered by posting his diss track to his Instagram with the caption: I accept all challenges.
“You see this flow it got a little Hall of Fame on it
Dame shoot jumpers
Shaq still bang on it
MVP candidate you are not one
Platinum plaques on my wall go and get you some
Lyrically, I’m three-time Finals MVP
I can’t believe some clown is testing me.”
Dame D.O.L.L.A. did not back down from the challenge, though, releasing a diss track the following day.
Lillard's response was savage and Dame D.O.L.L.A. claimed victory.
“I do feel like the winner," Lillard said in October. "Basically he was upset because he felt like I said he wasn’t a rapper, when I said that he’s the pioneer of athletes doing music and kind of breaking into it. But, I felt like I’m a better rapper than he is."
Now that we're caught up, let's look to Saturday night where the NBA Skills, 3-point and Slam Dunk competition are set to take place. It will air on TNT beginning at 5pm PST.
Lillard will be there. Shaq, who appears on TNT's Inside the NBA, will be there.
Despite his injury, this HAS to happen. Right?
Whether they're performing side by side, or going at each other in a rap battle, this is must see TV.
It's the performance we all need to see!
Will it happen? Hopefully. But we'll have to wait until Saturday night.