Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com writes that Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard sees his relationship with his father, Houston, as a major reason he was able to make the jump from the streets of Oakland, California, to the NBA
"Ah, there's too much (negative influences in Oakland)," Damian said. "I can go on and on, man. There's gangs, drugs, there's a lot of stuff that goes on that he knows a lot about because he grew up in Oakland and he had family and friends [living that lifestyle], he knew that game. So him passing that understanding on to me, I knew everything that was going on and I knew I didn't want to be a part of it."
When Damian was in high school, he found out that his dad and mother, Gina, were separating. For all of Damian's life, family stability was the one thing he always possessed and it looked as if it was slipping away.
"My dad would never [leave], he's all about taking care of his," Damian said. "Even my cousins, everybody in my family, he took care of them. Whenever they needed something and he could help, he was there helping so he's always about taking care of his family and that never changed."
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter