By pretty much even metric Damian Lillard should be a perennial all-star, it just happens that he is in the golden age of guards in the West and he keeps getting snub.
It is that time of year for Lillard to talk about his frustrations and he did so to ESPN.
“I’ve gotten frustrated just for the fact that it feels like I always got to be the fall guy and every other guy has been deserving,” Lillard tells ESPN. “In the past, the thing has been, ‘All right, my team has been 10 games under .500 or not in the playoffs,’ but every year we’ve found a way to be in the postseason, and this year I think we’re in much better position than we have been in the past two seasons that I didn’t make it. I think I’ve gotten over the emotional part of it the last few times that I didn’t make it. Now I’m kind of like expecting it to go that way, but I feel like I should be there.”
In the second All-Star fan ballot returns that were released last week, Lillard was eighth among Western Conference guards, with 266,519 votes. But to make matters worse, Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard Lonzo Ball was a spot ahead of him, with nearly 30,000 more votes.
“He plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, one of the most, if not the most, storied franchises in that big of a market,” Lillard explained to ESPN. “So, so many people are going to support him throughout that, and also with his dad and all the attention that’s been surrounding him since college. There’s a lot of people that follow him, so, that’s not really a surprise to me. The market size and what’s going on with his family, it’s no surprise really to me.”
“I try to speak on that stuff to a minimum because I don’t want to look too sensitive,” Lillard said to ESPN. “My issue is, when I see something is wrong, I have to [address it], so it comes off as sensitive or overly bothered. I might be a little bit bothered, but it really ain’t that deep. So I try to minimize it as much as possible so people don’t ever get the wrong idea. But the thing is, it just happens to be me [getting left out] a lot of the time, so I’m just like, ‘Man, what’s going on?’ I’m like, ‘Yo, what’s going on?’ You know? That’s like something simple. There’s a lot [of] records that’s like your first couple years in the NBA [and you made] this amount of 3s. I hold a lot of those records. So if we’re speaking of records where I’m the previous record-holder, why wouldn’t I be on there? And that’s something small. I didn’t even think about it that long other than when I mentioned it. So, it’s whatever.”
It does come across as sensitive, but I do understand his frustrations.
It sounds like it motivates him, so that is a positive from it.