Thompson: Blazers G Damian Lillard Looking Forward To Oakland Return

USA TODAY Sports Images

Portland Trail Blazers rookie guard Damian Lillard will play in front of his hometown crowd in Oakland for the first time when he takes on the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.

Marcus Thompson II of the Mercury News takes a look at Portland Trail Blazers rookie guard Damian Lillard, who will play his first NBA game in his hometown of Oakland against the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.

"Oh, I'm excited about it," Lillard said in an interview with ESPN. "When I was in grade school, my family had season tickets when they had Antawn Jamison, Jason Richardson and Mookie Blaylock. ... But I can't be too emotional about it now and caught up with who's coming -- especially since there are way more people there than I could ever get tickets for."

...

"We always taught him to respect people," Lillard's dad said. "He's always been a great kid. We've never had any problems with him. He gets along with everyone. If you don't like Damian, then something is wrong with you."

...

"He's not unlike Steph Curry in that he knows what it's like for any chance your team has of succeeding riding on you," [Blazers GM Neil] Olshey said. "He's been in big-game situations. He's had to handle the pressure. He's unflappable."

-- Ben Golliver | benjamin.golliver@gmail.com | Twitter

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