Chris Haynes of CSNNW is reporting that Damian Lillard will take part in the dunk contest on Saturday night of All-Star Weekend. Haynes also reports that Lillard is considering participating in the three-point shooting contest as well …
We reported a few days ago that Lillard was pondering the idea of displaying his ups on the grandest stage and now we’re told he is all in.
It doesn’t stop there, however.
The NBA has broached Lillard with an attractive, unprecedented opportunity. They’ve asked him to consider the Three-Point Shooting Contest as well, another source relayed to CSNNW.com.
So far, the reining Rookie of the Year is committed to defending his Skills Challenge title; he’s competing in the Dunk Contest, the Rising Stars Challenge and the All-Star game.
No player in the history of the game has ever competed in all five All-Star Weekend events in the same weekend. The NBA will announce those participating tomorrow.
Lillard, 23, is strongly leaning towards partaking in the Three-Point Shootout because he is intrigued with the prospect of performing in all five events in which he’ll go down in the record books as the first to ever do so, a source close to the guard tells CSNNW.com.
Rudy Fernandez was the last Trail Blazer to compete in the dunk contest during the 2009 All-Star Weekend in Phoenix. Lillard will be the first Blazer since Cliff Robinson in 1996 to compete in the three-point shootout if he in fact is offered and accepts the invitation. And as Haynes notes, no player has ever competed in all five events.
According to NBA.com/stats, Lillard has dunked the ball eight times this season. He’s a much more prolific three-point shooter, as he’s third in the NBA in three-pointers made with 139 on 41 percent shooting.
Lillard said after being named to the Western Conference All-Star roster that he wasn’t concerned about being fatigued by playing in the Rookie/Sophomore game, defending his Taco Bell Skills Challenge title and playing in the main event on All-Star Sunday night.
“Once I signed up to be a basketball player and I made it to the NBA, I wanted to be a part of this weekend,” said Lillard. “Whatever comes along with it, I’m all for it.”
From the sounds of it, he wasn’t kidding.
Comedian/actor/radio show host Jay Mohr was in Portland on Thursday during which he hosted a live edition of Jay Mohr Sports on Rip City Radio 620 AM. Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts, who is still in Las Vegas taking in Summer League, joined the show to discuss a host of NBA topics. You can listen to the entire interview below, though I’ve also transcribed a few of the more interesting answers…
“They’re going to be damn good, that’s for sure. They’ll be a little bit different, they lost three of their big guys so they’ll have to tweak their defense a little bit. One of the keys to their success the last two years was their defense and I think that got overlooked because of how well they scored the ball. They’re going to be a better offensive team, they’re going to be the favorite to win, but you never know until you toss it up.”
On signing free agent guard/forward Evan Turner…
“I’ve read some of the experts about us signing Evan and I’m surprised they don’t see the fit, because Evan is a really good basketball player. He handles the ball, he’s got a high assist ratio, he makes players better. I talked to Brad Stevens about him afterwards, they’re going to miss him in Boston. He’s a versatile defender, he’s unselfish, I think he fits into our culture. The one thing that I think gets overlooked is there was such pressure on Damian and CJ last year to be scorers and playmakers and particularly, the way I rotated the players, one of them was in the game at all times. Well Evan gives us another playmaker to take some of the load off of Damian and CJ, hopefully they’ll get better shots. You can add more playmaking — you look at the Golden State Warriors, how many playmakers they had on the court. They had two, three, four playmakers on the court at one time and that just adds to your effectiveness offensively. And defensively, Evan’s a versatile defender, he can guard two or three positions. Like I said, I think he fits in really well.”
On Damian Lillard tweeting “Hell no” when asked about returning to Oakland to play for the Warriors…
“It was pure Damian. He’s proud to be a Blazer, he loves Portland, he loves the franchise and he’s really embraced the role of being the face of the franchise. I was glad to read that.”
On the baseless speculation that the team is moving to Seattle…
“(Laughs) No. With all due respect to you Jay, and I do have immense respect, but that doesn’t really deserve a response. We’re the Portland Trail Blazers, always have been.”
It’s summer time in Portland (or at least, it’s supposed to be), which means there’s no lack of street fairs, farmers markets, beerfests and art walks to attend. Anyone who frequents such events knows how hard it can be to get from Point A to Point B when there’s thousands of people in between.
But Damian Lillard has you covered. In a new adidas short entitled “Creating Clutch,” the 6-3 point guard out of Weber State traverses a busy street market in China (wearing the “PDX Carpet” colorway of the D Lillard 2, if I’m not mistaken) using an array of moves that you can incorporate into your own crowd-surfing…
In “Creating Clutch,” Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard shows us there is no such thing as downtime if you want to be one of the best clutch players in the NBA. A crowded street market in China during his recent Summer tour became his court, the ultimate opportunity to test his creativity and put his skills to the test.
Playing in front of capacity crowds at arenas all across country is old hat for Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard. But his next performance will be in front of a different kind of crowd, at a different type of venue and in a completely different trade.
Lillard announced today on his Twitter account that he would be holding his first full-scale concert under his nom de rap Dame D.O.L.L.A on July 15th, which happens to be his 26th birthday, at the Crystal Ballroom in downtown Portland. The show is the latest sign of Lillard’s evolution as an artist, which started in earnest with his Four Bar Friday project, which grew into a regular Music Monday feature, then a music video that aired on national television and now a show in front of a live audience.
The 6-3 point guard/rapper has performed in front of small crowds before, most recently during an Adidas-sponsored trip to Manila, but has never held a real show with advanced ticketing at a legitimate venue. Lillard will be joined onstage by his cousin Brookfield Deuce, who has been featured on a number of Dame D.O.L.L.A tracks, with DJ OG One handling duties on the ones and twos, as the kids say. Lillard is also giving some stage time to local pastor Duoshun Pledgegure, who raps under the name Rose Ciddy and is a frequent participant in Lillard’s Four Bar Friday series. And who knows, perhaps one or two of his teammates decide to test their rap skills under the bright lights.
Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 the day of the show and can be purchased at the Crystal Ballroom’s website. There are only 1,500 tickets available, so if you want to go, you’d be wise to purchase asap.