Joe Freeman of The Oregonian has a nice look at how Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard honed his shooting form with his brother, Houston, growing up in Oakland. The memories led the rookie to compare his life to a song by recording artist Drake.
Lillard would hang out on one side of the street, Houston would hang on the other, and they would take turns launching shots back and forth. To score points, they had to fire a perfect shot that arced high into the air and landed on the curb, which was curved. If tossed just right, the ball would bounce in the air toward whoever threw it and count as 10 points. If it missed the curb and skipped away, it was worth zero points.
And what happened when cars rolled by? The boys heaved the ball even higher, over the cars, and if it hit the curb and bounced back, it was worth double the points. That textbook flick of the wrist that produces the pretty spin on the shots Lillard takes were honed during his repetitive motions during this game.
"There's a Drake song where he says, ‘Started from the bottom, now we're here,'" Lillard said, referring to the popular hip hop artist. "People always quote that song on social networks and stuff, and me and (Houston) always talk about it. It's like, we really started from the bottom. We really did. That's where it all started for me."
Lillard set the Blazers' franchise record for three-pointers on Tuesday night against the Clippers, passing Damon Stoudamire.
Drake's song can be heard on YouTube here. Note: explicit lyrics.
-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter