Damian Lillard is one of the NBA’s most talked about players and rightfully so.
The Trail Blazers star continues to add to his MVP campaign with buzzer-beaters, three-pointers from half court, and as we saw Tuesday night, another stunning performance in clutch time.
After the Trail Blazers star dished out 50 points on just 20 shots and added 10 assists in Portland’s dramatic comeback victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, Lillard reminded the world that he didn’t get there without hardships that built his character.
“I wasn’t a highly touted middle school player, high school player or college player,” Lillard told Dwyane Wade on NBA on TNT. “I had to do my work behind the scenes, like you did, I had to earn my way. And I didn’t know that I was going to ever get the credit for it or ever get the results for it. So, I know what it’s like to be unknown and you know, not have the lights on you, and to want to be seen, and want a scholarship to a big school and things like that. I was behind the scenes doing the work. So, I don’t forget those steps that it took for me to get here.
“Even though I’ve got a family, I’ve got all these commercials and these endorsements, I don’t forget the thing that makes all of those things possible which is the hard work, the discipline, the humility, the compassion, all of those things that I know I bring as a person. I know that’s a part of why I’ve been able to get a lot of the things that I’ve gotten.
Lillard’s triumph over adversity is one that resonates with so many who have taken risks and stayed true to their vision to achieve success.
Lillard been laughed at by his high school coach who doubted his NBA dreams. A trainer in college thought he might play in the G-League for a couple of years. Analysts have blasted the NBA superstar and questioned his legacy in Portland.
But when the clock strikes Lillard Time, others may have doubts, but Dame always believes in taking the final shot.
Lillard has taught us all that if you take a gamble on yourself, you can never go wrong. While his statistics are what place him in the NBA record books, the Trail Blazers legend’s greatness reaches far beyond the basketball court and he's laying the groundwork for the next generation to succeed.