Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has opted to participate in the 2014 Foot Locker three-point contest at NBA All-Star Weekend. Lillard had already committed to the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, and the NBA All-Star Game itself. This means that he will become the first player in NBA history to participate in all five events.
Damian Lillard told Sam Amick of USA Today:
“A lot of people don’t get the opportunity, so I just felt like it was something that had never been done, and I’m capable of doing all the things that need to be done in all the competitions, so I figured why not go out and be the first one to do everything and get that experience?”
Why not, indeed. Outside of the Rising Stars Challenge and the All-Star Game (the first events that Lillard committed to) there is very little physical exertion involved. It would be difficult for Lillard to wear himself out with some fancy dribbling, a handful of dunks, and a few additional jumpers. Participating in all five All-Star events will take more mental preparation than anything.
Aaron Goodwin (Lillard’s Agent) on wear-and-tear, via OregonLive:
“Worn out how? What is he doing? Shooting jumpers? Running a line that takes 30 seconds? Makes a couple dunks? I’m sure he would be doing more if he wasn’t an All-Star. My thing was if he feels like he can do it, do it. I’m surprised more super athletes like LeBron haven’t tried it before.’’
Damian Lillard is confident that he can run the gauntlet and into the history books, no worse for the wear. Whether he is able to win each contest or not, the real winners are the fans who get to watch him build his NBA legacy. NBA All-Star Weekend takes place from Friday, February 14th to Sunday, February 16th. Set aside some time to cheer on the pride of Portland and witness history in the making.