Arguably the rookie of the year is now showing his mature personality on and off the court.
As Portland fans were booing Knicks guard Raymond Felton after he struggled as a Trail Blazer last season, they didn't realize that there would be no Damien Lillard in the Blazers uniform if Felton weren't that bad last year. Lillard's arrival to Portland before this season is arguably the best thing that happen to Blazers in recent years. The curse of Portland's draft picks may be broken.
Lillard, soon to be rookie of the year, has shown remarks of other Oakland natives Jason Kidd and Gary Payton so far. In his 22 years he's playing like veteran. He's making right decisions, he can shoot the three and his athletic drives to the baskets remind me of Derrick Rose (the version of DRose with both ACLs). He can dish the ball as well and players like Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum are rising beside this 6'2" guard.
But probably the most interesting thing about Lillard is how steady and calm he is. "I have to remember where I came from," he says. His maturity is what Portland's office were looking for. They knew ahead all of us. "No no no, Dame is not going to spend any time in the d-league," said GM Olshey right after draft night, when everybody was questioning his decision.
Lillard's steadiness can be the reason he will have a huge impact in the NBA one day. He never was problematic either arrogant, that is what Olshey is saying about him. He is just confident and humble like no rookie is. "I've just shown that I am coachable and willing to learn, guys started to respect me for that." Lillard said after thursday's game against the Knicks in which he scored 26 points and added 10 assists.
Watch out for this guy, he will be an all-star soon. And making it to the New Orleans next year will be just first step for him.