By now most basketball fans know Damian Lillard is very big into music.
To the point his stage name is ‘Dame D.O.L.L.A,’ and he’s released songs and albums featuring some of the industry's best -- Lil’ Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Jeremih, and much more.
While in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics, Lillard discussed the team’s losses to Nigeria and Australia during the exhibition stage and his growing music career on ‘The Ebro Show.’
“I ain’t expect nothing else to happen,” Lillard said on social media’s reaction to their losses. “Once we lost the first one I was like, ‘everybody gonna go crazy.’ They used to Team USA just blowing people out and winning all the time. A lot of people don’t really know what goes into it.
“You got a bunch of star players. We great individually, but we gotta become a team against these other countries. They been doing this with the same team for years and years and years. So they already familiar with each other. They been doing this international thing for a long time. So, it’s gonna take some time for us to gel and look like how we’re supposed to look.”
That’s the constant problem the men’s national basketball team faces. Every time a major competition arises there’s a different group of players. Chemistry takes time and roles are understood as time passes by.
Since 2008’s ‘Redeem Team,’ men’s basketball international has been dominating Olympic play. A loss or even a close game comes off as an aberration to the dominance established since the 1992 ‘Dream Team.’
The men also losing shows just putting together the league’s best players doesn’t always guarantee a win. Although more often than it will. A light was also shed on other countries catching up with their own players and showing they can hold their own against the NBA’s elite.
Lillard would tell Ebro the exhibitions served its purpose for them to learn about what would need to be remedied before the games would count. The interview between the two was conducted before Lillard and his teammates lost their Olympic opener to France.
While overseas, Lillard will release his fourth album sometime in August and mentioned he and Shaq worked on a project before it fizzled out.
"It’s a self-titled album, the next one," he said. "I think this album I went much deeper. I got more information now, more understanding of how successful I am and what it means to have the experience I have, and why it's valuable in the business that I'm in. Why I can carry things this way, why I am what I am, why I say this, why I feel this way, it's a lot of that. The intro is called 'The Juice,' and it's basically saying 'I got the juice.' Not because I'm making all this money or I'm popular -- it's because I figured it out."
Entering his 10th NBA season, Lillard has figured out a lot. From who he is as a person, player, and musician. While also figuring out what he wants as he’s amid trade speculation.
What else Lillard has figured out is his interest in film. While talking to Ebro, the two discussed his appearance in ‘Space Jame: A New Legacy.’ The film starred LeBron James and featured other WNBA and NBA players.
The film featured Lillard in live-action, animated, and as a rapper. He had a song featured on the soundtrack titled ‘About That Time.’
Being featured in the movie was Lillard’s movie debut, as he’s been looking to be featured on the big screen. The way his appearance came about was because Ryan Coogler, a producer on the film, contacted his fellow Oakland native.
The two know of each other because Coogler’s wife went to high school with Lillard’s brother and cousins. According to Lillard, Coogler has known of his film and music interest, which led to him also being approached to be featured on the soundtrack once he got a feel for the movie.