Portland Trail Blazers rookie guard Damian Lillard participated in the 2013 Rising Stars Challenge at All-Star Weekend in Houston on Friday. Team Chuck beat Lillard's Team Shaq, 163-135. Lillard finished with 18 points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals on seven-for-17 shooting and two-for-10 from deep.
Lillard entered as the oddsmaker's favorite for MVP but the award went to Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried, who finished with 40 points and 10 rebounds.
Here's a partial transcript of Lillard's post-game comments
It was that type of game. There was hardly any defense but they played a little more than we did.
You had a game-high four fouls
They went up by like 20. We got a little bit competitive. We were going to stop giving them free lanes to the basket. I felt like some of the layups we were giving up, if I fouled them or made it a little harder, maybe they wouldn't score as many points.
You sat out for a bit was that because of fouls?
You can't foul out of this game so it was just everybody trying to get some run.
How did you think you played?
It's hard to say. I could have made a lot more shots. It's a freelance game. I missed some lay-ups, I missed a dunk I should have made, the ball came out of my hands, I missed shots.
Did you have fun?
It was a lot of fun. I felt like we came out really flat. Even though it's an All-Star game they played a little bit of defense and we didn't play any.
How did night go?
It was cool. In these type of games, it's hard to figure out how you're supposed to play. You don't want to be too cool, you don't want to be out there like it's a regular game. It was fun, just to be out there with some different players. Playing a freelance type of game. It was fun.
Dunk attempt at the end
It was hardly any defense played. I think that was obvious. That was it. We were out here to have fun more than anything. The second half it got a little more competitive but the game was pretty much out of reach. That's when everybody got some dunks in. I tried to get a dunk in and turned my ankle. It was fun. That's all I can say about it.
How is your ankle?
I didn't really turn it, roll my ankle. I got this big shoe on, it just turned over, I don't feel it right now, so I'm good.
[Ed. Note: Lillard wore the green All-Star Crazy Fast by Adidas, not his usual shoe, for the event.]
Surprised when Kyrie Irving crossed over Brandon Knight?
I wasn't surprised. I've seen him do it on mixtapes and all that stuff plenty of times. I've seen him do it a couple of times in a game at Duke. He has that type of handle. Anybody who wants to get up on him and pressure him, that can happen.
Did you think Brandon Knight would go back at him?
Once I saw that everybody basically cleared it out and played one on one he didn't have a choice to go back at him.
What will it be like when you're back in the Rising Stars game next year?
Next year it won't be as new. I'll know what to expect and be a little more comfortable playing. I'll know what to expect, you don't want to be out there selfish and then you don't want to not shoot the ball. Next year I'll be more comfortable.
What mustn't you do next year?
You mustn't turn your ankle trying to dunk. [laughs]
Make shots. I think I had some good looks and I just didn't make the shots because it was a lackadaiscal type of game and I allowed myself to shoot the ball that way. It's not a real game so I'm not upset about it. It was a fun experience.
Does an All-Star Game go against your best style of play?
I wouldn't say it goes against it. I've played in open runs a lot. Obviously open runs have defense. It was kind of a careless environment and you get careless too. It's hard to play really well and be careless at the same time. When it got competitive, that's when you saw Kyrie come out and go off, Brandon Knight hit some buckets. When it got competitive you saw guys doing what they usually do.
They came out, we basically just laid down for them. it's supposed to be an easy-going game but it was a little too easy. we wanted to turn up the defense a little bit so i picked up a couple of fouls because I knew I couldn't foul out of the game.
The crowd booed you after you missed the dunk
Everybody is going back and forth dunking and then I go up to dunk and I turn my ankle. Everybody saw me turn my ankle. It wasn't like I didn't get up or something, I didn't take no offense to it.
Kind of weak they would boo like that in an exhibition game
Like I said, it's a game for us to have fun, everything that happened out there was pretty much fun. It was a good experience.
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