Lillard on decision to partake in all events
Last season about this time, Damian Lillard had a couple of games where his production was a little down and I thought he looked tired. I wrote that I wondered if he'd hit the "rookie wall" and was worn out.
The reaction was not good from Lillard.
I could tell he was a little miffed and I tried to explain that I had his best interests at heart and was concerned about all the minutes he was playing. (Of course, he'd go on to play the most minutes of anyone in the league as a rookie.) And as soon as I wrote about that rookie wall stuff he took off on a spree of carrying his team that lasted the rest of the season.
My bad. And I couldn't help thinking about that when I questioned the wisdom of Lillard taking on the challenge of doing just about everything but the halftime shows and National Anthem during All-Star Weekend. Man, I'd rather see him on a beach in Maui, resting up.
But that's just me and I'm not Dame. And after further review, I'm all done questioning anything this man sets out to do. He's been proving people wrong all his life. How could anyone tell him he can't do this? We all know he thrives on people underestimating him and has for years. That's how he got to the NBA. I remember shaking my head on draft day when Neil Olshey proclaimed him a "franchise point guard" and wondering how he'd ever live up to that pressure. But he has -- in a big way.
And watching the way he plays, he certainly seems to understand how to pace himself, what speed is best for him and how to handle fatigue.
From now on, I do not doubt him.
Go get 'em, kid.