“Paul George is a star. And Patrick Beverley is one of my favorite players and favorite people in the world. Don’t mess with Dame,” said Stephen A. Smith on Monday’s episode of ESPN’s First Take.
Shall we recap what occurred over the weekend down in the NBA bubble?
The Portland Trail Blazers faced their first back-to-back of the NBA restart. On Saturday, Portland fell to the Los Angeles Clippers 122-117. It was a team loss, but Damian Lillard uncharacteristically missed two free throws down the wire which prompted in Los Angeles’ Patrick Beverley to tap his wrist, shout ‘Dame Time’, and wave goodbye to the Blazers as the teams headed to the locker rooms.
After the game, Lillard responded to his antics in the most Lillard way, taking it as respect after sending home Beverley and the Houston Rockets with that 0.9 shot back in the 2014 playoffs and then against in the 2019 playoffs against Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder. PG13 fled to the Clippers after getting sent home by Dame.
NBA bubble drama between Paul George and Damian Lillard. 👀 pic.twitter.com/HwyQ6OXcrm— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) August 8, 2020
24 hours later, Lillard followed this up by dropping 51 points on the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday. Portland needed the win in such a tight race for the Western Conference eight seed.
Let that be a fair warning to the rest of the NBA: don’t poke the Lillard bear.
[Listen to the Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon].
Don’t mess with Dame. Don’t mess with Dame D.O.L.L.A. He’s not the one. He’s not the one. This brother on many, many occasions has stepped up in big moments and he has closed. This brother has carried this Portland Trail Blazers franchise and has been the face of the franchise. — Stephen A. Smith
Stephen A. Smith’s comments come hours after Skip Bayless called out Lillard on Fox Sports’ Undisputed saying he’s not buying “Dame Time.”
I have never been buying nothing about you fam. You a joke. And after our private convo full of back pedaling you will never have my respect 🤡 https://t.co/do0yxFgUju— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) August 10, 2020
We’d like to remind you that Lillard is averaging 29.3 points, 8.0 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game this season. So yeah, Damian Lillard is ‘that guy.”
Lillard might be adding Bayless’ name to D.O.L.L.A.’s next diss track.
But let’s get back to Smith defending Lillard because it goes far beyond what he does on the court and with a ball in his hands.
This is also a guy that doesn’t get enough credit for his community service, his philanthropy, the fact that he is a guy that is socially conscious, never gets in any kind of trouble or whatever. This dude is worthy of being the face of a franchise. — Stephen A. Smith
Couldn’t be more true.
Lucky for the Trail Blazers and Rip City, Lillard has stated time and time again his loyalty to Portland and his desire to bring the city of Portland another NBA Championship.
Watch the Stephen A. Smith clip below.