Damian Lillard was named an All-Star reserve for the sixth time in his NBA career Tuesday.
The nod was highly expected for the MVP candidate but that doesn't mean Lillard lacks the motivation to get better and prove doubters wrong.
Now, with Portland holding the fifth seed in the Western Conference, what's Lillard's recent motivation beyond wanting to bring an NBA Championship to Portland? Being named an All-Star starter, at least according to former Trail Blazer Mo Williams who appeared on Blazers Warm-Up Tuesday evening.
"The All-Star snub," said Williams. "I texted with him today, I wasn't even talking about that... He brought it up. So it's still on his mind. It still bothers him and rightfully so."
Lillard may have been named an All-Star but, unfortunately, being snubbed from the event is familiar territory for the Blazers franchise player. It took injuries to Western Conference All-Stars to get his second nod in 2015, and then he was shut out from the game entirely in 2016 and 2017.
Two years after Williams' lone season in Rip City, the Blazers lost 80% of its starting lineup and were projected to have the worst record in the NBA. Instead, Damian Lillard led Portland to the second round of the NBA Playoffs.
His game has only elevated from there, being named to the All-NBA First Team in 2018 and two All-NBA Second Team selections (2019, 2020).
Despite being named a top-5 player in the NBA in 2018, and top-ten the next two seasons, Lilllard has yet to crack the starting lineup in the All-Star game.
"He's done a lot," added Williams. "Especially these last three years and every single year he seems to be passed up in that starting lineup. It's motivation for him and he's going to continue to get better."
What's Mo's personal opinion?
"I think he's done enough for our game. He's done enough for our league to deserve this spot and people say it's an individual award but at the same time, he's... one of the best players in our league. To go out each and every night to lead his team... at a high level... and doing it consistently, throughout the year, he needs that opportunity to be a starter in the All-Star game because he's definitely deserving.
All of Rip City agrees, Mo.