Damian Lillard revealed in an interview with The Athletic that he has been dealing with some deep personal issues through his MVP campaign.
The Blazers guard has been on fire this season. He’s averaging 29.6 points per game on 44.5% shooting from the floor and 38% on 3-pointers. He’s also dishing a career-high 8.1 dimes per game, and has been carrying the Blazers’ offense all the more in CJ’s absence.
Yet, he revealed to Jason Quick, a Blazers beat writer for The Athletic, about his personal troubles of late. He’s had quite the tale of woe in the past 18 months or so. The article lists out all of his setbacks through this time period.
The deaths of his personal chef and a cousin came first last year. An aunt of his then died of cancer, while a family friend died of Covid. Then early this year, a cousin of his was killed in hometown Oakland.
Prayers out to Damian Lillard. This is insane
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) March 3, 2021
Damian Lillard could barely have recovered from all these blows before he learned of the murders of two people in his inner circle. This came just ahead of the Blazers’ game against the Lakers. Dame says he could barely get himself on court, mentally:
“I thought about (not playing), because mentally I was like … I don’t want to say I didn’t care, because I did care. But emotionally, I was like, whatever.”
How will Damian Lillard cope with this external pressure for the rest of the season?
Most players in this position would definitely need a few weeks off to ease their minds. But with the Blazers tenderly positioned on the league table, Dame cannot afford to take games off. His best supporting players in Jusuf Nurkic and CJ McCollum are both out for the long term.
It would take a Herculean effort from Dame and co to pull themselves through these tough times. Our prayers go out to the superstar and his family for all of their trials and tribulations recently.