Damian Lillard once again proved he's one of the nicest guys both on and off the court when he scored 50 points in the Portland Trail Blazers' close win over the New Orleans Pelicans, 125-124, on Monday night.
After the game was over, he also delivered a very entertaining interview with the Inside the NBA crew, leaving some good quotes to reflect on his impact on the game and how hard he's work to be in the position he is right now. Shaquille O'Neal started things off by asking him what it took to become a very talented shooter in the league.
"By putting a lot of time into it. We got some great shooters in our league; obviously, we think of Steph Curry first when we think of the greatest shooter to ever play in our league, but he’ll tell you the same thing — it’s a lot of reps."
"You do it at a game pace; you do it with focus. You do it while you’re holding yourself to a certain standard — make 10 in a row at each spot at the end of your workout when you’re tired, and you probably don’t want to do it — things like that."
Talking about his clutchness, the All-Star point guard said that everybody reacts differently to that situation. As for him, he tries to live that moment to the fullest and enjoy it, which is the secret to his success in crunch time.
"Once that moment comes, most people get tighter in that situation. They don’t want to make a mistake; they don’t want to miss a shot. So in those moments, I just get more aggressive. I seek things out, and I try to go after it."
"Once that moment comes, I’m like, ‘If it goes wrong, I’m willing to take that blame. And if it goes well, let’s go back to work and do it again.’"
Dame has come a long way to be where he is right now and he credits his hard work for that. Ever since he was in college, he knew he had to work his way up and now is probably one of the two best point guards in the NBA.
"I had to do my work behind the scenes; I had to earn my way. I know what it’s like to be unknown and to not have the lights on you. I don’t forget those steps that it took for me to get here. I don’t forget the thing that makes all of those things possible, which is the work, the discipline, the humility, the compassion."
He finished the game with 50 points and 10 assists, scoring 20 in the last 12 minutes of the 4th quarter. He showed his clutchness with two free throws that put the team ahead with 1.2 seconds on the clock.
Dame confirmed he is the real deal both on and off the court, explaining how he got to be this good, what is behind his success in the league and what he plans to keep doing to try to lead his team to compete in the stacked Western Conference.