Sun. Apr 11th, 2021

Illustration for article titled Damian Lillard for MVP? It’s about Dame Time

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There isn’t any participant within the NBA that I’d need to construct a franchise round greater than Damian Lillard. Not solely is he an elite expertise on the courtroom, along with his signature #LogoLillard vary and #DameTime late-game heroics, however he’s as loyal, hard-working, and passionate concerning the neighborhood because it will get. He’s all the things you need in a celebrity. Not solely has he been a pillar of power for a Blazers workforce that’s severely hobbled, however he’s doing so whereas enduring insufferable tragedy.

One week in the past at the moment, whereas in Los Angeles for a sport in opposition to the Lakers, Lillard discovered of the capturing deaths of two individuals near him — one was a cousin, and the opposite was a household good friend. He performed in opposition to the Lakers the following day and totaled 35 factors with seven assists.

In 2020, he found the useless physique of his cousin and private chef, an aunt died from most cancers, a household good friend died from COVID-19, and a cousin was killed in West Oakland originally of this 12 months.

In his interview with The Athletic, Lillard informed of when he discovered his cousin.

“I stood over his physique, man. Like, he was useless. Minutes. I’m standing over his physique,” Lillard mentioned. “Folks don’t know what kind of trauma that’s, and what that’s to have any person that near you laid out and also you stand over him. Like, I nonetheless battle with that. You realize what I imply? Like, I nonetheless battle with that. That’s a battle for me.”

Lillard additionally mentioned “I might be 45. I’ve accomplished seen and been round a lot.”

By way of the burden and the burden of super trauma and turmoil, Lillard’s demeanor by no means adjustments. He seems to be just like the stoic celebrity on the courtroom that he has been for years, main the Blazers to a 20-14 file, ok presently for the fifth seed within the Western Convention.

Final evening, Lillard was Lillard. Down by one with about 15 seconds to go in opposition to the Golden State Warriors, Lillard stepped again and pulled up from about 4 toes behind the arc. He knocked down the three, like he normally does. He didn’t rejoice, and his teammates appeared as if they anticipated him to make it, as at all times.

On the opposite finish, Lillard drew a cost from Draymond Inexperienced to win the sport defensively. Teammate Carmelo Anthony made certain to sing his praises after the win.

I do know that the MVP has change into a recognition contest and never really about who probably the most precious participant within the league is, however there may be no person extra precious than Lillard. He’s single handedly doing yeoman’s work and carrying a Blazers workforce that’s presently lacking C.J. McCollum, Jusuf Nurkić, and Zach Collins due to accidents. He’s fourth within the league in scoring at 29.4 factors per sport, is averaging 8.0 assists per sport, and is dominant in clutch conditions.

Lillard is the face of the Portland franchise, and is on his method to passing Clyde Drexler in each class to be the best Blazer ever. He’s the MVP, whether or not the voting will mirror that or not.

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