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#pounditSaturday, May 8, 2021

Damian Lillard reacts to All-Star snub

Damian Lillard

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard was the highest-profile snub among NBA All-Star starters, but it doesn’t seem like he’ll be losing much sleep over it.

When asked about his omission from the Western Conference starting lineup, Lillard essentially shrugged it off, noting that he’s been overlooked his entire basketball career.

“Even before the NBA, I’ve always been the person to get the shorter end of the stick. That’s kind of my story,” Lillard said, via AJ McCord of KOIN News. “I wasn’t a top player in Oakland in middle school. All the way to my last year in high school, people in Oakland didn’t know I was one of the better players. I didn’t get recruited heavily. I went to Weber State. Even when I was the sixth pick in the draft, nobody really knew who I was.

“I think it’s widely known that I would be irritated and frustrated with it, and people would be like, ‘Oh, he’s crying. He’s mad.’ I didn’t deal with it that way. That’s just been the battle for me my whole career. Now that I’m 30 and I’m not starting the All-Star Game, I’m just not moved by it. Part of that is because it’s always been that way.”

Lillard is averaging 29.8 points and 7.7 assists per game, and has the Blazers firmly in playoff position despite injuries to key contributors. He deserves to start, and plenty of people were mad about it. Lillard isn’t, but that doesn’t mean he won’t use the snub as motivation.

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