After being an NBA All-Star in 2014 and 2015, Portland Blazers point guard Damian Lillard has been left out of the NBA All-Star Games ever since. It’s something he expects to happen this time around as well.
“I’ve gotten frustrated just for the fact that it feels like I always got to be the fall guy and every other guy has been deserving,” – Lillard told ESPN. “In the past, the thing has been, ‘All right, my team has been 10 games under .500 or not in the playoffs,’ but every year we’ve found a way to be in the postseason, and this year I think we’re in much better position than we have been in the past two seasons that I didn’t make it. I think I’ve gotten over the emotional part of it the last few times that I didn’t make it. Now I’m kind of like expecting it to go that way, but I feel like I should be there.“
When you look at Lillard’s numbers and the things he brings to the table, there is no doubt he is an NBA All-Star caliber player. He is currently at the ninth spot in the league when it comes to points per game (25.0) and only NBA player alongside LeBron James, Stephen Curry and James Harden to average 25 points, four rebounds and six assists per game. In this season Lillard also became just the fifth player to have four games with nine or more three-pointers made. All of this wasn’t enough for Lillard to get more than 266,519 votes or to be higher ranked than eight spot among the Western Conference guards. When you look at Lillard’s performances, it becomes laughable that rookie Lonzo Ball got 30,000 more votes than Lillard and was a step ahead of him.
While Lillard recognizes that this happens because Los Angeles is a lot bigger market than Portland, he wouldn’t trade his place with Lonzo. In the time when players are joining forces and leaving the teams that drafted them in order to have a better chance to win a championship, Lillard isn’t afraid to double down on his loyalty to the Trail Blazers. His goal is simple; become the best player that ever played there.
“That speaks to me because when you think of the Mavericks, you think of Dirk,” – he said. “You had a lot of people that came through there, but he’s been there. I think what he’s meant to that organization is huge. The same thing with Tim Duncan. He represents the Spurs. That’s the name that comes up. And for the Trail Blazers, I want to be the best Trail Blazer ever. And when people talk about this franchise, I want them to talk about me. I want to be what people think of first when they talk about the Portland Trail Blazers.“