It’s so easy to discuss the numbers and stats, which coaches are getting fired and what turmoil is going on between teammates but what about a player personifying values that if applied properly can change your life. The player I’m referring to is Damian Lillard and he’s exhibiting principles on the court that far surpass the game of basketball.
After being the team to watch two years in a row, the Portland Trailblazers lost four starters in the off-season and were a clear favorite amongst analyst and experts to be a lottery team; surely not a play-off contender. Maybe all that chatter put a fire in Lillard’s soul and has assisted him in leading his team to 33 wins and a record above .500 in a tough Western Conference. Living up to his team’s name, Lillard has been a true “trailblazer” defying the odds as the only remaining starter and franchise player for this organization.
Resilience. Humility. Focus.
If one thing is for sure adversity will arise. People will leave and change will surely come but its 5% what happens to you and 95% about how you react to it. When the two most notable of the four starters left town for the likes of Texas, it seems like Dame focused more on the reacting part. He proved his toughness, grit and ability to exhibit supreme resilience by working 10 times as hard as he did the year before.
In a recent interview with Chris Broussard, Dame spoke on the unselfish style of play that he and emerging star C.J. McCollum have been displaying on the court; something they both attribute to the teams success. I would describe it as humility. The humble beginnings of Oakland to the humble beginnings of Weber State University has shaped Lillard’s disposition. He’s showing us that you can be confident in your abilities, blessings and talents and still remain humble. I think Dame said it best “Be a King in your mind but do the work of a servant”.
There’s this thing that happens when you “lock in” as I like to call it. When you detach peripheral abilities from your vision and see only that which you want, desire and hunger to attain; the possibilities are endless. I’m talking about laser focus and Lillard is exuding it. In the month of February, he has averaged 29.8 points, 6.9 assist and 9.2 rebounds a game. Those are Lebron James type numbers; not stats of a 6’3 point guard. Dame appears to have one goal and one goal only and that is to win.
Not everyone will have the ability to euro-step, set screens and prefect pick and roll defense but we can all be resilient, focused and humble. Just like anything else, there are many layers and complexities to the game of basketball; the kid from Oakland is proving it. #DameShowedMe