Damian Lillard reportedly played through injury at Olympics
Most NBA players err on the side of caution when it comes to being less than 100 percent healthy and taking part in international competition, but Damian Lillard apparently was not concerned about that at the Tokyo Olympics.
Lillard played through an abdominal injury en route to helping Team USA win a gold medal, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. The injury will require further testing to determine the severity when Lillard returns home.
Lillard started and played 27 minutes in Team USA’s win over France on Saturday. He scored 11 points. The Portland Trail Blazers star had just five points in 17 minutes in the US’ semifinal win over Australia.
It would stand to reason that the injury is not that significant, as Lillard and Team USA probably would not have taken that big of a risk. However, it does speak to Lillard’s level of commitment in helping the team overcome their early struggles to win a gold medal.
Team USA’s fourth consecutive gold medal clearly meant a great deal to the players. That became clear with the way Kevin Durant and Draymond Green called out their critics after Saturday’s game (video here). Lillard was probably motivated to help his teammates silence the naysayers, even if he was a bit banged up while doing so.