Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard was the highlight of NBA All-Star weekend. Because he was the first player ever to compete in all five of the major events (Rising Stars Challenge, Skills Challenge, Three-point Contest, Dunk Contest, and the All-Star Game), NBA TV did an “Inside Stuff” segment on his historic trip to New Orleans. The behind-the-scenes coverage includes one-on-one interviews, footage of the events, a look at his attire on and off the court, and his personal interactions with fellow players & celebrities.
Lillard has no regrets about taking on such a busy weekend. Before returning to Portland, Lillard stated that he was eager to keep his All-Star confidence up in Rip City: “My confidence was high before, and now I’m taking more confidence with me because now I feel like I’m one of them. I can’t wait to take that attitude back to my team.” He exercised his leadership right away. Without All-Star teammate LaMarcus Aldridge (groin), Lillard has averaged 29.5 points and 6.5 assists over two games; well above his averages prior to the break.
Helped by the individual exposure from NBA TV and his strong performances on the hardwood, “Damian Lillard” is becoming more of a household name. No longer is he that faceless guard in the Northwest, defending a home court that is over 600 miles from any opponents. The Portland Trail Blazers may always struggle for widespread acclaim, by virtue of the market, but Lillard has tactfully become marketable in his own right. That’s rather astounding, since his collected demeanor does not lend itself well to hyping much of anything. His skills speak for him.