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Damian Lillard explains why his playstyle will age well as he approaches the tail end of his career: "I can manipulate the game"

Damian Lillard believes his true playstyle will enable him to stay on top of the point guard ladder for a long period.
Lillard is one of the best point guards in the game.

Lillard is one of the best point guards in the game.

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard will miss the remainder of the regular season after undergoing surgery for his abdominal injury. After the news broke, there were some whispers that Lillard might never be the same again. Some see the injury as a sign that Lillard’s body has taken its toll. In addition, he’s also in his early 30s, which is usually the tail-end of an athlete’s career. Lillard is aware of such whispers. For the star guard, fans shouldn’t worry about such matters as he knows his game can stand the test of time.

I’m a sniper

Lillard, 31, reiterates that he isn’t old even by NBA standards. There’s a lot of truth in this. Yes, some NBA players fall off when they reach their 30s. But there’s a good chunk, too, who even peak further as they age. From the looks of it, being in optimal condition is a combination of work ethic and genes. Lillard has both of these elements in the bag.

Apart from this, Lillard believes that his playstyle will keep him on top of the food chain even as his athletic gifts wear off. As for one, he has one of the most lethal strokes in the NBA. The six-time All-Star also believes he understands the game at a deep and tactical level.

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“It seems like after I announced that I was having surgery, people were like, ‘Oh, he's 31 and having this done.’ Man, 31 is not old. They act like you’re old when we have guys around the league older than me that are still playing at a high level. Also, my game is not based on me playing above the rim. I'm a sniper. I shoot. I got a good step. I can think the game. I can manipulate the game, and I know how to play. My game will age well, and I don't have a history of injuries. And the one that I just had is not a bad injury to have,”

Damian Lillard, Yahoo Sports

NBA ring and an MVP trophy

Lillard’s goal over the following months is to rehabilitate his abdomen properly. His ultimate goal: win a title and be declared MVP. These are Lillard’s only goals before he could give himself a pat on the back for a job well done.

“I'm going to come back and be fine. Like I said, my best is yet to come. And the only things that I play for at this point is I want to be the MVP of the league and I want to win the championship. And once I do those things, I feel great about the investment that I made to this game over my whole life. If I accomplish those two things, I'm walking away feeling like I literally got the most out of myself as an athlete,” Lillard said.

It would be sweet for Lillard to snag those trophies while donning the team's jersey that drafted him. Lillard himself has reiterated time and time again that he wants to stay in Portland, believing in the front office’s ability to surround him with the right guys. This amid endless trade rumors of him going back to his hometown of California.

Whatever the future holds for Lillard, we should keep our eyes peeled. As he pointed out, it’s not the end of the road for Dame Time. We may even be in for another thrilling chapter. 

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