On Tuesday night, Portland guard Damian Lillard broke #NBATwitter with his 37-foot, series-clinching buzzer-beater against Oklahoma City.
It's not the first time we've seen him do that, but it's by far the biggest impact his play has had on the NBA world to this point.
Fair or not, Lillard's image has always been the overlooked underdog. Even after being named All-NBA First Team last season, it's rare you hear his name mentioned among the NBA's most popular players.
That attitude is what fuels the Portland Trail Blazers though. It's what the entire roster uses as motivation every game. It's a mindset every team in the NBA should be emulating too, and it starts with their star.
If you're an organization in the middle of a rebuild, you should be looking no further than Ja Morant if you want this same organizational mindset going forward.
Ja Morant is the next Dame Lillard.
Ja Morant is going to be a star.
The Wizards are one of those teams, and with the NBA Draft Lottery coming May 14, if the ping pong balls land in their favor, Morant needs to be their pick at No. 2 in the NBA Draft.
Don't worry about any other point guards on the roster and what that means. Don't pass on Morant.
Obviously, No. 1 would mean Zion Williamson, and anything past No. 2 means both are probably off the board, so we'll stick with that No. 2 pick in this case.
Both Lillard and Morant come from small schools in Weber State and Murray State, respectively. Both were under-recruited with Lillard being just a two-star and Morant not even being ranked by recruiting services ESPN, 247Sports, or Rivals.
Lillard was the better three-point shooter coming out of college, but Morant still has range, and can jump out of the gym.
Neither has a ton of size (Lillard 6-2, 185 lbs., and Morant 6-3, 175), but both aren't scared of the spotlight, and step on the court ready to eat the other team alive.
In a star-driven league based so much around player's brands and recognizability, there's something to be said for the guys that have the talent, but haven't been given the stage to show it yet. You get that combination of "chip on their shoulder" mentality with the star potential and work ethic biggy backing it.
One of the best movie lines ever spoken was in Remember the Titans when Julius tells Gerry "attitude reflects leadership", and it's a mantra any successful team, business, volunteer group, club, or literally any collection of people should follow.
If you want the right attitude in your locker room, you want leaders that can create it.
Morant and Lillard share that same leadership, and the results are there to prove it.
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