Damian Lillard has solidified himself as one of the best pure scorers in the NBA and a true leader for the Blazers squad, hoping to make a significant impact this season. On top of being a great player, Lillard is a truly exceptional person who, on multiple occasions, surprised everyone with his humility and humbleness that is rarely seen among athletes of his stature. Even though he never made it to the NBA finals, the Blazers are always in playoff contention with Lillard, who comes to every game ready and plays like it’s game 7 in the playoffs.
Another perhaps underrated trait Lillard possesses is leadership, in which he treats every teammate with incredible respect and understands basketball is a team sport. Great individuals can win you games, but great teams are the ones that win championships, and Lillard understands that better than anyone. In a recent interview for, ‘Million Dollaz Worth of Game’ podcast, Lillard talked about his role as a leader and how he would never consider himself more important than the team.
Lillard understands the concept of a team and taking responsibility for his actions, so he mentioned that he would never throw any of his teammates under the bus for whatever reason.
I’m out there, rolled ankle, whatever, if it ain’t broke, I’m out there. I’m a soldier with my team. When we lose, I don’t throw nobody under the bus. We win; I don’t say it’s because of me. I don’t say nothing about none of that. I show up and do my job, and I got to this level by being solid and doing staff that I know I am supposed to do.Damian Lillard, via Million Dollaz Worth of Game
Lillard also said there is a lot of pressure from the media on players to win championships because they usually define someone’s greatness. Many players fall under that pressure which leads to them teaming up with another superstar on their quest for championships which is something Lillard would never do.
I’m still going to compete and try to win a championship. I feel like I’m going to win a championship, but if it doesn’t happen, that is not the end for me. The media will never make me sweat by saying, ‘he’s not a winner. A lot of ya’ll mothaf**ers ain’t winners at nothing but criticizing people. I’m not going to give in to the pressure of that.Damian Lillard, via Million Dollaz Worth of Game
Even though the Blazers are struggling with injuries all season long, they are currently 6th in a very competitive western conference. Lillard’s remarkable performances are one of the main reasons they are doing so well despite the injuries. He is averaging 30 points per game, playing heavy minutes almost every game and leading by example. Lillard has his eye on a championship this year, and even if he never wins one, nobody should diminish his greatness and leadership because he leads by an example everybody should learn from.