Is that a bird? No, it’s a plane? No…
It’s Damian Lillard stealing Dave Franco’s girlfriend and riding a motorcycle in a Madden commercial!
That’s right, Lillard makes a cameo appearance in Madden’s new commercial for Madden Season.
By my unofficial calculation, Lillard has now appeared in five national commercials. That’s quite the track record for a player that’s only been in the league for two full seasons.
Two weeks ago, I wrote about how Lillard might be a future Oscar nominee if he keeps up all this acting. Now, I’d like to discuss how Lillard’s endorsement deals affect the Trail Blazers.
Typically speaking, guys with big endorsement deals want to be in bigger markets. There is more exposure, there is more opportunity to make money, and, usually, there is simply more money in bigger media markets, like Los Angeles or New York.
Based on Lillard’s rise to stardom off-the-court, as a fan of the Blazers, I’m starting to get a tad bit concerned. Stars rarely stay in smaller markets their entire careers. Look at LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and Dwight Howard. They all moved on to bigger markets.
While Lillard is just beginning the ascension to NBA stardom, it makes me nervous that he could be gone in two years based on what other players in his situation have done in the past. There is no doubt in my mind Lillard is committed to the Trail Blazers and the city of Portland right now, but the seed of doubt has been planted in my mind.
It is still early on in his career, and I hope, hope, hope I’m wrong about Lillard possibly leaving. To make the most money on an NBA contract alone, Lillard would have to re-sign with the Blazers after his rookie deal is up. After that, he would have to force a trade, just like Kevin Love, if he were to leave the Blazers before his next contract would expire.
If there is one thing Portland has on their side, it’s chemistry. It genuinely seems like the Blazers like playing with one another, and Lillard enjoys playing with the rest of his Blazer teammates. If the core of the team stays together, Lillard might feel compelled to stay in a good situation.
Also in Portland’s favor, Adidas North America is based in Portland. As Lillard’s shoe sponsor, Adidas having a hometown hero is never a bad thing for all the promotional and corporate events. Adidas might have some sway in keeping Lillard in Portland. It is too early to tell at this point.
I guess, that is the main takeaway from all my, probably pointless, speculation. Lillard isn’t leaving tomorrow. However, it is never too early to start thinking about the possible changes facing the Trail Blazers in the next few seasons.
LaMarcus Aldridge, Robin Lopez, and Wesley Matthews are all in the final season of their contracts. Who knows what will happen next offseason? There could be a lot of changes coming to the Blazers in the near-ish future. Hopefully, replacing Damian Lillard is not one of them.