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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Articles tagged: Damian Lillard

Chris Paul appears to troll Damian Lillard over controversial late-game layup

Chris Paul Damian Lillard

At 32 years old, Chris Paul appears to have finally run out of chill.

The Houston Rockets point guard took to Twitter on Thursday to post about his passing of the 16,000-point mark for his career, a feat that he achieved the night before in a 121-112 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Seems innocuous enough, right? Well upon further review, it appears that the image Paul posted was of the controversial layup he went up for in the closing seconds of the already-decided game, angering Blazers guard Damian Lillard.

What makes this apparent troll job even better is that the layup was not even Paul’s 16,000th point — he entered play on Wednesday with 15,995 points for his career, and the controversial bucket gave him 37 on the night.

Paul actually gave a pretty good answer when he was confronted by Lillard as to why he didn’t just run out the clock in a traditional show of sportsmanship, so it looks like he got the win on the court as well as on social media.

Chris Paul offers explanation for scoring late layup that upset Lillard

Chris Paul Damian Lillard

Chris Paul offered a matter-of-fact explanation for why he went up for an uncontested layup instead of dribbling out the clock in the final seconds of the Houston Rockets’ win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.

The Rockets were up 119-112 on the Blazers with under 20 seconds left when Paul decided to go in for a layup to make it 121-112. The layup left Damian Lillard upset, and he let Paul know it.

So why did CP3 go in for the layup? Lillard says the Rockets guard told him it’s because Portland wasn’t defending the basket.

Lillard said after the game that he didn’t care for Paul’s actions. He felt it wasn’t very respectful or sportsmanlike.

We’ve seen teams make improbable comebacks in the past, so there’s never anything wrong with playing to the final whistle.

Sure, many players are content to dribble out the clock especially when opponents are conceding, but not Chris Paul.

Damian Lillard talks with security over mother’s incident with fan

Damian Lillard got distracted during the second quarter of the Portland Trail Blazers’ game against the Bulls in Chicago Monday because of something going on with his mom.

NBCSN Northwest’s Peter Socotch reported that Lillard talked to team security to address a situation going on with his mother.

Socotch believed that Lillard’s mom was upset over an incident with another fan.

Lillard has not played since Dec. 20 due to a hamstring injury, so he was not dressed for the game. He plans to return to action on Tuesday.

The Blazers were down 53-52 to the Bulls as of halftime.

Damian Lillard says fans taunted him with homophobic slurs in Minnesota

Damian Lillard was captured on a cell phone video confronting a group of fans outside the Target Center in Minnesota Monday night, and the Portland Trail Blazers star was apparently responding to having anti-gay slurs shouted in his direction.

ESPN’s Chris Haynes reported on Tuesday that two individuals shouted homophobic slurs at Lillard as he was walking to the bus following Portland’s 108-107 loss to the Timberwolves. Lillard confirmed the report.

“I don’t bother nobody,” he told Haynes. “They were straight disrespectful.”

You can see the videos below, which show Lillard trying to figure out who had shouted something at him.

A woman in the area pointed out one of the individuals, and the man reportedly apologized. Lillard addressed the incident on Twitter Monday night, noting that the person who took the video was not the one who shouted the slur.

It’s almost always best for athletes to ignore what fans say rather than giving them the attention they’re seeking, but sometimes frustrations boil over. The Blazers only attempted five free throws in the loss, and Lillard was clearly disappointed with the way the game was officiated. Perhaps that was part of the reason the fans set him off.

Lillard isn’t the first player we have seen confront a fan, and he won’t be the last. There’s a difference between lighthearted heckling and tossing anti-gay slurs around. The latter shouldn’t be tolerated.

Each NBA team’s most important player

Kawhi Leonard

The mother of all NBA seasons is almost here. So as you finalize your League Pass subscriptions, complete your fantasy drafts, and prepare the guacamole for your watch parties, take some time to ponder the true meaning of the season — specifically, the benevolent stars who make such a joyous holiday possible with their prodigious athletic talents.

Here I present, each NBA team’s most important player heading into 2017-18:

Atlanta Hawks — Dennis Schroder, PG

“All my friends are dead,” said Schroder in his best Lil Uzi Vert voice as he gazed upon his roster following the respective exits of his last remaining All-Star teammates in Paul Millsap and Dwight Howard this summer. Yes, the Hawks are now as thin as a toothpick, and the incentive for them to “Do Badly for Bagley” or “Make The Fans Puka for Luka” will be enormous. But someone has to lead this JV squad, and their resident German is as good of an option as any. Perhaps we will see Dennis the Menace gun for 20 and 10. Maybe he develops some nice pick-and-roll chemistry with new additions Dewayne Dedmon and rookie John Collins. Perhaps he finally bleaches his entire head blonde. Anything to give this team a modicum of watchability this season.

Boston Celtics — Kyrie Irving

After selling an arm, a leg, and a hip for him this summer, the Celtics will hope that Irving’s performance in his first season with them does not fall flat. The outside noise in Uncle Drew’s ear will be deafening — mockery of his decision to ditch LeBron James and go off in search of his own empire, jeers at the perceived stagnation of his playmaking skills, pervasive meme treatments of his unorthodox views on astronomy. But Irving is here for one reason and one reason only: to ball out. And that’s what he’s gonna do. Just remember kids, there’s no such thing as distractions when you’re very much woke. [mic drop]

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Ranking the 20 best players in the Western Conference

Let’s just go right ahead and state the obvious here: this is not your father’s Western Conference. Not anymore. Gone are the days of sophisticated battles of equal parts brains and brawn. Dead and buried are the cordial, gentlemanly competitions of X’s and O’s that generations prior enjoyed and romanticized. With the defection of no fewer than four current or former Eastern All-Stars this summer to what was already the NBA’s far superior conference, the era of all-out war is officially upon us. Blitzkrieg strikes will illuminate the heavens, campaigns of attrition will be waged, and rivers everywhere will run red with blood as what had previously been known as the West now makes way for the Wild Wild West. But instead of Buffalo Bill Cody and Wyatt Earp, this battle will be fought be a more familiar cast of characters. And what a privilege you and I will have to enjoy front row seats as hostilities commence in 2017-18.

Ladies and germs, may I present a comprehensive ranking of the 20 best players in the Western Conference (with sincerest apologies and honorable mentions to DeAndre Jordan, C.J. McCollum, Andrew Wiggins, and newly-christened Westerner Carmelo Anthony, all of whose respective nits proved impossible not to pick when wading through a talent pool this deep). This is part of a series, as we also ranked the 20 best players in the Eastern Conference previously.

20. Marc Gasol, C, Memphis Grizzlies

When he’s not sashaying like Conor McGregor or slinging shade in Catalan, Gasol continues to further his standing as one of the more undervalued bigs in the NBA. The former Defensive Player of the Year quietly posted career-highs in points (19.5) and assists per game (4.6) last season while playing his usual stout D. Yes, Father Time’s kiss may not be far off with Gasol set to turn 33 in January. But for now, I say long live those paint-protecting fundamentals and them elegant sweeping hooks from the mid-post. Me encanta la Gasol-ina.

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Damian Lillard: Carmelo Anthony ‘didn’t seem opposed’ to joining Blazers

Star Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard has been pressing Carmelo Anthony to try and join him out west — and he thinks he’s getting somewhere.

Lillard told Marc J. Spears of the Undefeated that, by his reading, the forward could ultimately be talked into waiting his no-trade clause and approving a move to Portland, and that Anthony “didn’t seem opposed” to such a move when the subject came up.

“I didn’t want to press him,” Lillard said of Anthony. “I ain’t a big fan of doing all the extra recruiting and all that stuff. And I guess they call it tampering or whatever. It’s not against the rules for us to interact with each other. We all peers, we all play in the same league and everybody hints at playing with each other. ‘What you think about this?’ ‘What do you think about that?’ All that matters is whether it got done or did not get done. Or hasn’t got done, and it hasn’t got done. So, it is what it is.

“I’m not giving up on anything. I just think I’ve done what I can do. And camp is a few weeks away. And you have to focus on getting ready with who we are, plan on going in as we are. Whatever changes, the front office will be the ones making that change, with the Knicks and our front office or whatever. But I get my mind focused on what I can control at a certain point.”

Lillard has been quite obviously trying to talk Anthony into approving a deal, but all indications were that the Knicks forward wanted to go to the Houston Rockets to play with Chris Paul and James Harden. Perhaps something has changed, but there has been no indication that it has.

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