Damian Lillard has been underrated for the majority of his career, but with his recent announcement of being a 2K21 cover athlete, will his popularity increase?
Damian Lillard is nothing short of a superstar. In his career so far, Lillard is averaging a very impressive 24 points per game while also adding 6.5 assists. He was the Rookie of the Year in 2012, has been a five time All-Star (even though he’s been snubbed before), and also adds multiple All-NBA nods with one All-NBA First Team in the 2017-2018 season.
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Even with all of these accolades, other guards such as Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving seem to tower over Lillard in popularity even though Lillard is arguably the better player. Why is that?
Damian Lillard isn’t the flashiest man in the world. All over the internet, you can find videos of Dame humbly talking about his upbringing in Oakland, California and how that atmosphere pushed him to be the player he is today.
He doesn’t do much talking, but his game definitely says it all. For example, look at his game winner against the Thunder in the 2018 playoffs. When he hit the shot, you didn’t see an explosion of emotions from Lillard. His teammates did that for him! All you saw was a calm and collected Dame wave goodbye to Thunder while blankly staring at the camera as if to say “Yes…I do this.”
It’s an amazing persona to have, but this has led Dame to be overlooked majority of his career. Even though Damian Lillard is most certainly one of the best players in the NBA, huge personalities of other players tend to overshadow him.
That is why the latest news of Damian Lillard being the cover athlete for NBA 2K21 seems to be the boost that he needed to becoming a mainstream name once again.
NBA 2K is one of the most popular sports video games on the market every year. With Damian Lillard as the face of it for this upcoming year, this will undoubtedly boost his presence in the basketball world with younger fans seeing his face on the cover and wanting to play as the Portland star does.
Playing for a small market team definitely hinders a player’s ability to market themselves, but this should be the type of marketability that Dame needs to push himself to a bigger audience.
This was a much-needed boost for a player who is fighting to put his team in a playoff spot. Hopefully this won’t only improve his notoriety amongst fans, but also give the Portland Trail Blazers guard a spike of moral that will lead him to play out of his mind in Orlando.