Damian Lillard may have created an unforgettable moment in NBA history with an impressive buzzer-beater last week ― but now he’s getting praise for the insight and perspective he showed in a recently resurfaced 2017 interview.
Speaking to Sporting News that year, Lillard was asked whether expectations from the previous year were creating “pressure” for him and his team.
“Pressure, nah. Fam, this is just playing ball,” the Portland Trail Blazers point guard replied. “Pressure is the homeless man, who doesn’t know where his next meal is coming from. Pressure is the single mom, who is trying to scuffle and pay her rent.”
“We get paid a lot of money to play a game,” he went on. “Don’t get me wrong ― there are challenges. But to call it pressure is almost an insult to regular people.”
Lillard, 28, noted on Twitter Monday that “people who aren’t in the position we are” might have been a better choice of words than “regular people.” But many on social media assured the NBA star they’d received his message clearly.
“Everyone knew what you meant,” one Twitter user wrote. “You’re good, my dude. People always gotta nitpick.”
“We know what you meant bro, nothing but love for you now don’t stress and let’s get that W,” another Twitter user said.
Last week, Lillard scored an awe-inspiring 37-foot shot over forward Paul George, knocking the Oklahoma City Thunder out of the 2019 NBA Playoffs. The game-winning shot led to wide excitement on social media ― and the birth of a meme.