Damian Lillard On Basketball, Being From The Bay & Why He Had To Help With Hurricane Relief

We got a chance to talk one-on-one with NBA all-star Damian Lillard. Through Adidas, Damian got involved with this year’s Week of Greatness. The Foot Locker charity program focuses on a different cause each year. The 2017 campaign aims to help provide clothing and shoes for the victims of Hurricane Maria.
The Portland Trail Blazers athlete told COED about his engagement with different communities in Portland and beyond, including Puerto Rico and his hometown of Oakland, California. Lillard personally donated thousands of pairs of shoes to help the people of Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria hit the country on September 20 but much of the island still remains without power or clean water. Heavy rainfall and flooding continue to hurt the citizens of Puerto Rico, making the need for protective footwear more and more crucial as time goes on.
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We also got the chance to talk about this year’s basketball season, which is still in the early stages. Damian seems excited about the Blazers’ current position (fifth in the West, FYI) and the opportunity for them to establish themselves as one of the top teams in the league. What has been his biggest surprise this season? “Just how even it is across the board,” Damian says. “I think there’s maybe three teams right now who got off to a hot start, the rest is pretty even.” Last year, Portland snuck into the playoffs after catching fire late in the season to secure the eighth seed. If they can start the season strong, this team can make serious waves this year.
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Damian stresses the importance of securing a home court advantage this year. He also wants to make sure that we know he isn’t afraid hof the Golden State Warriors, the team who knocked him out of the playoffs twice in his career.
His professional concerns aren’t limited to the basketball court. Damian also cares deeply for his aforementioned hometown of Oakland. Within the next four years, two major sports teams, the Raiders and Warriors, will be leaving the city to move elsewhere and Damian has been very outspoken about the impact this will have on the city. “It’s unfortunate because those sports teams mean so much to the city and bring a certain level of positivity with all that goes on in the city,” Lillard says. “I hate to see it.”
The development of this young team relies on Damian Lillard. While his team sits among the top of its conference, Lillard continues to make strides as a leader on and off the court.

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