Sports Illustrated's Ian Thomsen takes a look at Damian Lillard's rookie season, getting the Portland Trail Blazers guard to explain why he isn't the world's biggest fan of compliments.
He took nothing for granted when he transferred to Oakland High School, where he played well enough to earn a scholarship to Weber State in Ogden, Utah. Lillard spent four years at college, leaving him one class short of the degree he hopes to earn next summer. He told his Weber State coach that "compliments make you soft."
These kinds of stories make Lillard appear to be a hard man. In fact, he is quick to smile and is mature in the same way that Brandon Roy was able separate himself from other rookies when he arrived in Portland to win the 2006-07 Rookie of the Year.
"I don't really believe that compliments make you soft,'' he said, laughing. "But I think when people constantly give you compliments, they must feel the need to always give you those compliments and shower you with them and make you feel like a confident person. I think people who need to be complimented all the time aren't really confident. There are a lot of people who need people to say, 'Oh, you're so good at this, you did a really good job at this' -- just for them to feel comfortable and confident. I feel like that would not be me.''
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