Yesterday, the NBA announced the reserves for the 2016 NBA All-Star game. Every year there is always one or two big snubs from the list and for the second straight year Damian Lillard was left off from the original reserves list. When asked about the lineup reveal here is what he said (via Mike Richman of The Oregonian).
“I wasn’t really surprised by it. You know, I knew that it would be a close decision I guess. I honestly wasn’t surprised by it.”
“Like I said, I feel like I’ve played at an All-Star level maybe I need to prove me. I’m not sure. I’ll go out there and that wood on the fire will be more for my team. I think what I can do now is get this team into the playoffs. Put my energy into that. That’s kinda what I’ll be focusing on.”
Lillard is currently averaging 24.7 points and 7.7 assists per game. He is also leading the Portland Trail Blazers to a 21-26 record and fighting for a playoff spot. Considering the fact they they lost four starters from last season, they are still competing at a high level and it’s because of Damian Lillard.
It is something he is used to by now. He was not recruited to play at a big time school, eventually playing at Weber State. Once he got drafted, scouts were saying it would be hard for him to adjust to the fast pace game, and then he eventually won Rookie of the Year by a landslide. Around this time last year, Lillard was snubbed from the All-Star but was eventually selected as a replacement after two players dropped out due to injury. He was also left out of the 30 finalist to compete for a spot on Team USA in the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Reading that previous quote has me pulling for Lillard. I’ve always been a fan of him because he is a great player but has always been often overlooked. He is leading this rebuilding Blazers team to a playoff spot in the Western Conference and that should not go unnoticed. There is a lot of top guards in the West so it does get tough for him but that’ll add fuel to the fire come playoff time, and that will be something to see. In the end, Damian Lillard deserved to go to the 2016 NBA All-Star game.