Trail Blazers

Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard determined to bring the big stage to Portland

Trail Blazers

Logo Lillard...

Dame Time…

The tapping of the wrist…

The Wave of a bad shot… It was all on display in Damian Lillard’s All-Star performance Sunday night.

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In the first half, Lillard pulled up from behind the half-court line.

And swish.

As if that was not impressive enough, Lillard then drained a shot just a step in front of the half-court line to end the game during the fourth quarter.

With the game-winner for Team LeBron, he did signature tapping on his wrist as he gazed into the camera.

 

Lillard showed up on the big stage.  

He finished with 32 points to set a new franchise All-Star game record.

But with a pandemic All-Star weekend and no appearances, the weekend was a lot different than years past.

“It just didn’t have the All-Star feel just because it was so quick and quiet. It just didn’t have the same feel, I think once we got on the floor, that was like the only time that it snapped into – this is the All-Star game.”

But what about the difference Lillard has made and wants to continue to throw a spotlight on Portland. 

With the recent chatter about the market size of Portland and if it’s big enough for Lillard to actually have respect put on his name, especially with the ongoing discussion of Lillard’s campaign for MVP.

Lillard explained following the All-Star game victory, “I think it’s something to be said about if you’re on a bigger stage, obviously the New Yorks and Chicagos and LAs or whatever, it’s just such a major platform and such a major market that you don’t have to be doing anything to get attention for things to be magnified.”

[RELATED]: Dear national media, stop trying to force Damian Lillard out of Portland 

But that does not at all mean, Lillard believes he needs to move to a big market.  

I don’t think you absolutely need a bigger market when you’re doing things the right way -- you can capture the attention of people, you do things that bring people’s attention to you, I think that you can build up a market and make that market more than what it was.

Damian Lillard

Less than 12 hours after Damian Lillard hit a stepback game-winning three-pointer to defeat Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors this past Wednesday, ESPN First Take ran a segment debating if Lillard should force his way out of Portland.

But again, Sunday night, Lillard emphasized he doesn’t believe that he needs to be in a big market.

 

“I have a lot of pride in representing Rip City and putting that Blazer uniform on.”

With that, Lillard is determined to bring a championship to Portland. 

The Trail Blazers six-time All-Star has also been working to bring the big stage to Rip City.  

“I think since I’ve been in Portland, I’ve kind of brought it to an even bigger stage,” Lillard said. “The appearances at All-Star, all the things that I do off the floor.”

It’s been nobody in Portland the way that I’ve done it in that market. So I think by doing that, I’ve helped build the market up and lift it up from where it was.

Damian Lillard

Which is, in Lillard’s eyes, how it should be for all NBA players wanting to leave their organization better than it was previously.

And Lillard, Rip City is thankful for you and that very sentiment.