Trail Blazers

Lillard's high school coach laughed at him for thinking he could make it to the NBA

Trail Blazers

This is fitting:

Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard joined Warriors All-Star Draymond Green as a special guest on Green’s new Bleacher Report show Chips -- two of the best who play with huge chips on their shoulder were featured in the first episode of the brand new Youtube show. 

Green welcomed Lillard to the show by starting off with a conversation on what it means to Dame to carry a chip on his shoulder.

Everything that I felt was up against me, I’ve used it as basically wood on the fire.

Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard

Lillard also admitted that because he now knows what it's like to play with extra motivation, he “finds s*** to hold onto.”

The Oakland native explained why he has used playing with a chip to his advantage.  

“It comes from my upbringing more than anything else,” Lillard said. “I look back on my childhood, I was always second to somebody.”

The Trail Blazers five-time All-Star also shared a story with Green that really showed the power of playing with a big chip on one's shoulder.

Lillard’s high school coach asked him if he thought he could play in the NBA and when the 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year said yes, his coach laughed in his face.

He chuckled and laughed in my face… He literally smiled at me in my face… I never forget when he said that.

Couple that experience with the following summer’s AAU tournament against the T-Mac All-Stars, where Lillard felt he had performed well enough to get calls from college recruits.

But nobody called.

“We get to the hotel -- nothing. Like, nothing. So, I’m like, damn, I’m not getting nothing from that,” Lillard said of not receiving any phone calls from any colleges after his stellar AAU performance. “I think from that moment, I felt slighted.”


And we know what happened after that:

Lillard had an historic career at Weber State before being drafted No. 6 by the Trail Blazers in 2013.

And here we are in 2020, and Lillard still wants people, namely the media, to put some respect on his name.

Whoever or whatever it is, Trail Blazers fans know when there's a fire lit under Dame.

And now they know where using the power of playing with a chip on his shoulder stems from. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon and special guest Kyle O'Quinn]: