Damian Lillard responds to being cut by Team USA with Instagram post

With just one week until the FIBA World Cup gets underway in Spain, we now know the 12 members who will compete for the United States team.

Prior to the roster being finalized, additional cuts needed to be made from the squad that had been participating in recent exhibition games. After the final four cuts, this is who will be wearing red, white, & blue in the upcoming competition.

There’s one notable exception: Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard was among the last group to be removed, along with Chandler Parsons, Gordon Hayward, and Kyle Korver.

Late last night, Lillard said there were no hard feelings and he wished Team USA the best. On Saturday, the NBA’s 2013 Rookie of the Year posted the above photo on his Instagram account with the following caption:

“This is team USA letting me go. My head up, spirits up, and I’m going back to work. #TeamAdidas #JustGetBetter #WoodOnTheFire”

Lillard is just 24 years old, so in no way will this be our final opportunity to see him in a USA Basketball uniform. However, it means the next time we’ll get to see one of the NBA’s brightest young stars in competitive action will be the preseason, which seems so far away.

Photo: Instagram/damianlillard

Damian Lillard gets former youth basketball team new Adidas uniforms

Damian LillardMany know Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard as one of the best young players in the NBA and maker of game-winning shots like this one. Lillard has also gained notoriety for his skills on the microphone as a rapper.

Prior to being drafted, Lillard was a two-time Big Sky Conference Player of the Year at Weber State University.

Going back a little further, the NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 2013 spent days during his youth playing for the Oakland Rebels, beginning in the third grade. Now an NBA star, who signed a lucrative extension with Adidas earlier this year, Lillard is taking the opportunity to give back to the team that played a part in his development.

The 23-year-old shared via his Twitter account on Friday new Adidas uniforms the Oakland Rebels will be wearing in the near future.

Those are pretty sharp. Given the increased popularity of aesthetically pleasing uniforms in sports, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Oakland Rebels gain a few new fans. And they have Damian Lillard to thank for both.

Damian Lillard makes sick series-ending buzzer-beater (Video)

Damian Lillard knocked the Houston Rockets out of the playoffs with an incredible buzzer-beating 3-pointer in Game 6 on Friday night to help the Portland Trail Blazers advance in the postseason for the first time since 2000.

Houston took a 98-96 lead with 0.9 seconds left on a layup by Chandler Parsons following a loose ball. Portland had a timeout and advanced the ball up the court to set up for a final shot. They gave it to Lillard, who got the ball off in less than 0.4 seconds:

Damian Lillard 3-pointer

Dame went 6-of-10 and finished with 25 points in the win. That was a tremendous series capped by a fantastic finish.

Oh, and I totally missed this until our friend Jimmy Traina pointed it out, Parsons actually sat down on the scorer’s table after the shot. What else could he do?

Image via @Jose3030

Damian Lillard gets custom Adidas shoes with his rap lyrics on them


In addition to being among the better players in the NBA, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers also has a talent for making music.

Some may have said “here we go again” when the 2013 Rookie of Year recently said he was planning to release a rap album, because athletes rapping isn’t a new thing. Others probably rolled their eyes upon finding out Lillard thinks his project can go platinum.

damian-lillard-4bar-adidas2Those who are familiar with Damian Lillard on social media aren’t strangers of #4BarFriday, where you can find the All-Star and others showing off their skills via Instagram.

Now, Lillard has a pair of Adidas shoes that contain lyrics from some of his past videos. He shared photos of the custom kicks via his Instagram account and they’re pretty impressive.

Unfortunately, there were no #4BarFriday posts this week due to phone issues. Gotta love technology. In the meantime, you can head over the official site to check out previous weeks.

Damian Lillard is not a fan of Patrick Beverley’s tactics on defense

patrick-beverley Patrick Beverley of the Houston Rockets is one of those players you love if he’s on your favorite team and probably aren’t too fond of if he isn’t.

Beverley is a tough, gritty, ultra-competitive player who has had a tendency to get under the skin of opponents on occasion. He plays a high-pressure style of defense and can be a pest for the player he’s guarding. It’s not necessarily the prettiest thing to watch, but it’s effective and makes the Rockets a better team.

During Sunday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers, Patrick Beverley and Damian Lillard were separated after exchanging words. Then, in overtime Lillard was whistled for this sixth foul, a charge against Beverley, that resulted in the All-Star guard watching the rest of the contest from the bench.

After the game, Lillard commented on his matchup with Beverley.

“It’s irritating,” Lillard told CSNNW.com. “But I was locked into the game to be one hundred percent honest with you. It’s irritating that he’s doing all that little stuff like flopping, tying you up and all that for the whole game. But I don’t really get caught up in that. It’s whatever.”

“If he thinks I’m flopping, that’s on him, not me,” Beverley told CSNNW.com. “We won. That’s all I care about.”

The way Patrick Beverley plays doesn’t lend itself to many favorable comments from players on the other team. Damian Lillard isn’t the first and won’t be the last person to take offense with something Beverley does or says on the court. But like Beverley said, he’s just here to win games and the Rockets are 31-13 this season when he starts.

Damian Lillard: LeBron James knew all our offensive plays

LeBron JamesLeBron James’ physical abilities are easy to see. The guy is bigger, faster and stronger than his competition. He’s a freak. Everyone knows that. But in addition to his physical tools, LeBron is also one of the smartest players in the game.

The Miami Heat star is frequently lauded for having a high “basketball IQ.” James is also one of the hardest workers in the game, and one of the most studious. Those parts of his game, though, are not as easy to see.

To illustrate James’ intelligence on the court, we’ll share some commentary from NBA Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard.

Our friend Nate Jones, who works for Goodwin Sports Management, which represents Lillard, spent some time with the Portland Trailblazers up-and-comer last week. According to Jones, Lillard said what impressed him most about playing against LeBron during the season was how prepared the MVP was.

According to Jones, Lillard said it was obvious James studied film. Lillard told Jones that LeBron would assist his Heat teammates by calling out all the Blazers’ offensive plays during their games. Lillard apparently said that James knew all of Portland’s offensive tendencies.

Despite James’ knowledge of their plays, Portland actually beat Miami 92-90 in their first meeting, but lost 117-104 on the road in their second.

Like Jones says, this shows us that it’s not all about having physical gifts. James is also a true student of the game, and that is a big part of what makes him so great. Many people sit on their physical tools and coast because they feel they can get by on their talents. James has all the talent, and then he puts in all the work to make himself and his teammates even better.

These are the same stories you frequently hear about Kevin Garnett. KG was Defensive Player of the Year in 2007-2008, and opponents always talk about him calling out the opponent’s offensive plays while his team is on defense. James is on that same level. That’s probably why he was upset over not winning Defensive Player of the Year this season.

Brothers claim they were assaulted taking picture of Damian Lillard

Damian LillardTwo brothers claim they were assaulted by members of Damian Lillard’s entouraged after taking a picture of Portland Trailblazers rookie, The Oregonian reports.

The brothers told KGW in Portland that they took a picture of Lillard as he was headed to a parking lot around 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning in the Old Town area of Portland. One of the brothers said Lillard was upset and asked, “Did you just take my picture?”

“And his entourage just turned around too and they’re like ‘did you just take a picture of Damian Lillard?’ And I was like –and I said ‘Yeah, I did.’ And so I saw that he was clearly upset, they were upset and I was like, ‘Can I apologize to him? Like I’ll go up right now and apologize to him,’” the brother told KGW.

The brother said the issue turned into an all-out fight within minutes. The second brother says his nose was broken and he needed stitches in his lip after he was repeatedly punched and kicked in the fight.

The brothers reportedly were treated at the scene by Portland Fire & Rescue for facial injuries.

Though Lillard, who won the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award, reportedly was not involved in the alleged assault and is not a suspect, one of the brothers blames him for instigating the fight.

“Damian Lillard basically instigated it because he actually looked like he was going to go up to my brother and start fighting him. And since he did that, the rest of the guys started getting riled up too and like they thought it was okay to just start fighting out of nowhere,” the second brother told KGW.

Lillard was the sixth overall pick by the Blazers and averaged 19 points and 6.5 assists per game in his rookie campaign.

As The Oregonian points out, Lillard won an NBA community assist award in March for his “commitment to anti-bullying and his ongoing support of local, regional and national organizations that share his passion for promoting respect for all.’’