Lillard Let’s The Rookie Have Fun In the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
2 years ago

Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard got his busy All-Star Weekend off to a positive start with a 13-point, five-assist, five-rebound performance as a starter on Team Hill in the 2014 BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. Lillard’s side, Team Hill, defeated Team Webber 142-136.

“I just didn’t go out there with the mindset of I’m going to go out here, play my hardest,” said Lillard. “I just wanted to go out there, get some shots up, try to help my team, make some passes, throw some lobs and just enjoy the game. And I did.”

The Rising Stars Challenge was the first of five events Lillard is participating in during the festivities in New Orleans, and the 6-3 guard out of Weber State wasted no time showing his full range of skills for the crowd at Smoothie King Arena. He made a three-pointer within the first minute of play and followed up with a stepback jumper, a floater, a layup and a dunk to end the first half with 11 points in a little less than 16 minutes. He also added two assists, two rebounds and a steal.

Lillard looked to distribute and hit the glass more after the intermission, handing out three assists and grabbing four rebounds in the

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second half while taking just five shots.

“I played how the game was being played,” said Lillard. “It’s kind of tough when you’re playing a game like that and it’s in that mode of kind of a lazy game and it’s hard to find that level where you need to be at where you don’t want to be out there playing too hard, running into guys, but you still want to be able to play the game the right way. I was definitely relaxed. I didn’t go out there and try to overdo it or outshine anybody. There’s a lot of rookies out there and I wanted to let them play the game and have fun. I just wanted to be a part of it.

Lillard’s performance in this year’s Rising Stars Challenge was similar to his appearance in the same event last year in Houston. As a rookie starter for Team Shaq, Lillard finished with 18 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals in a 163-135 loss to Team Chuck.

Next up, Lillard will compete in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout and the Sprite Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday night.

“I’m really excited about tomorrow,” said Lillard. “I had a chance to play in this game last year and I really enjoyed it last season. This season, it was okay. I had a good time being a part of it again but tomorrow, really looking forward to it.”

Those events kick off at 6 PM on TNT.

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Lillard Takes The Stage Again At adidas LVL3 Event In Las Vegas

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
1 week ago

A little over a week ago, Damian Lillard, aka Dame D.O.L.L.A., held his first concert ever, a sold out affair at the Crystal Ballroom that also featured CJ McCollum and Tim Frazier dancing on stage, on his 26th birthday. By all accounts (including my own), the show went off without a hitch.

After getting his first official show under his belt, Lillard took his show on the road last weekend, performing for a packed crowd of high schoolers at the adidas LVL3 event, which was a part of the adidas Uprising AAU tournament held in Las Vegas. Media wasn’t granted access to Lillard’s Portland show, so video of that performance is scarce (though a, new “License To Lillard” episode chronicling the night is in the works), but there are a few clips of Lillard performing this weekend in Vegas, with fellow NBA players such as James Harden and Derrick Rose in attendance in case you’re curious about Dame’s stage presence…

Lillard also shared the stage with a few of the players on Team Lillard Elite, the AAU team he sponsors in conjunction with adidas, who were brave enough to test their battling skills in front of a crowd of their peers…

With my @teamlillardaau squad today at the @adidasUprising event in Vegas. #TownBizness 🏀

A photo posted by Damian Lillard (@damianlillard) on

In addition to the show, Lillard spoke during a panel about his signature shoe, the D Lillard 2, and participated in a number of stations adidas was running in order to keep the large number of teenage boys in attendance from the tournament from doing the kind of things teenage boys do when they get bored…

A video posted by Damian Lillard (@damianlillard) on

Got to talk about the stories that inspired the #DLillard2 design and colorways at #LVL3 today. /// 📸: @_ndp

A photo posted by Damian Lillard (@damianlillard) on

Hang-time. @damianlillard checked out the 360 Dunk Cam at #LVL3. Stop by Planet Hollywood Las Vegas to experience it yourself.

A video posted by adidas Basketball (@adidashoops) on

Looks like everyone had a great time and Lillard was right in the center of the action, which is good news if you’re a Trail Blazers fan. After all, it’s never a bad thing to have young, talented players rubbing elbows and building relationships with your franchise player.

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Audio: Stotts Talks Turner, Lillard Tweets On Jay Mohr Sports

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
3 weeks ago

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…

On Kevin Durant joining the Golden State Warriors…

“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.”

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VIDEO: Lillard Cuts Through Crowded Street Market In New Adidas Ad

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
3 weeks ago

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…

Here’s what the folks at adidas have to say about the spot…

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.

The spot is one of three released by adidas as a part of the “Here To Create” series, which includes football players chasing rabbits through the Everglades and some kind of soccer/motocross amalgam.

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