When Damian Lillard walked into Wednesday’s game against the Golden State Warriors wearing custom Oakley’s like Mike, the Trail Blazers star was donning the ’90s-esque shades with good cause.
Lillard recently signed a multi-year partnership with Oakley, joining a roster of other prestigious athletes in the world of sports such as Patrick Mahomes II, Diamond DeShields, Lamar Jackson and Mikaela Shiffrin.
“I strive to be the best on the basketball court, but I also work hard to give back to my community and help foster the education of future generations” Damian Lillard said in a press release. “Oakley understands what I want to accomplish both professionally and personally so I’m looking forward to being the new face of Oakley basketball.”
The iconic frames worn before the Blazers-Warriors tipped off were part of the Oakley MUZM Series 1875 X Metal® Edition sets that are signed by Scottie Pippen, as a nod to the past, and Lillard, as an ode to the future.
If you want to get your hands on the limited-edition frames, it’s going to cost you. There are only 14 pairs of the glasses, each available for purchase in North America exclusively at $14,000.
But the best part of the coveted shades is that Oakley is contributing $140,000 to Lillard’s RESPECT program, which supports the next generation of high school athletes to stay in school, get a solid education, and show up, work hard, and be kind.
“While Oakley has been part of the basketball scene for decades, signing Dame, one of the most formidable players on the court, is a huge moment for the brand,” Oakley Global Marketing Director Caio Amato said in the press release. “Not only does his energy bring an undeniable skillset, competitive drive and bold style, but also a passion to give back to the community.
Oakley certainly teamed up with the right guy. Lillard has been absolutely explosive in the First Half of the 2020-21 NBA season. The Trail Blazers superstar is averaging 29.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 8.0 assists per games while leading Portland to a 21-14 record.
His dominance in clutch time doesn’t hurt either. Lillard has knocked down more game-tying or game-winning shot with 20 seconds or less to play than any other player since he entered the league in 2012-13.