In a press conference focused on his Formula Zero camp, Blazers star Damian Lillard set the record straight on how he views today's youth basketball culture.
According to Lillard, we have created a system where players who have the talent to play in the NBA are failing to reach their goals. If you ask Lillard, it's because way too much focus is put on the confidence of a player rather than building up values that will help them get better and work with others.
During his chat with the media, he got brutally honest on his perspective when speaking on the importance of humility:
“When I was in college it was like, you have to earn it. I was in the combine in my head thinking like 'I might be in the second round. I might not get picked.' I literally believed that. I guarantee that if you ask every kid on the bus, they think 'I'm going to the NBA.' There's no question in their mind about whether or not it's going to happen because that's the culture that it is now. They expect to be in the NBA... there’s no humility. There’s a lot of fake humility where people know how to play the role but they don’t have people around them that’s like showing them how to be and how to handle stuff so it’s just natural [to them],”
While Lillard lacks the accomplishments and accolades of many of his peers, he makes up for it with loyalty, discipline, and leadership. Very few players can compare to him when it comes to dealing with the media or being thrust into various trade rumors.
For Lillard, he has seemingly mastered finding the balance between confidence and vanity. He knows what he can do, but he also knows how hard he worked to get there and how quickly it can all come toppling down.
He's not one to take it for granted, and kids today can definitely pick up a few things from his example.