Joe Freeman of the Oregonian published an article today discussing the Portland Trail Blazers viewing and critiquing video of their recent 120-101 loss to the Washington Wizards. The piece discussed various approaches to the film session and is a must-read as a whole. Among the most striking lines were these concerning star point guard Damian Lillard:
As the Blazers talked, as the suggestions poured in, as the productive back-and-forth unfolded, there was one powerful voice noticeably absent: Lillard's.
The Blazers' All-Star decided to sit this one out and let his teammates have the floor.
"I didn't say nothing," Lillard said. "Because I always say something. Everything I see, my teammates know, I'll speak up whether it's good or bad. I think, as a leader, sometimes you've just got to shut up and let other people say what they need to say. They might have an issue or address something that I didn't do well. And I've got to be quiet and be open to that and listen sometimes. It can't come off as me trying to boss everybody around or (seem like) I've got all the answers. I didn't say anything."
Despite Lillard’s explanation of his silence, a social media commentator wasn’t having it. Perceiving shortcomings in the All-Star’s approach, he let his displeasure be known.
@CHold @Dame_Lillard I think shutting up would be great if he wasn't part of the problem. Could seem like he didn't want point his failings— OregonAngler (@ORCALMD) January 18, 2017
Apparently Lillard was not having it either, as he addressed the issue forthrightly:
I play on the team.. Of course I'm part of the problem https://t.co/KcsuAWAuZ6— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) January 18, 2017
The earnest tweeter doubled down on his explanation:
@Dame_Lillard @CHold I mean this as a leader in my field: if I stay silent while my employees fall on their swords , they may see arrogance.— OregonAngler (@ORCALMD) January 18, 2017
Lillard was not done with him:
Ima leader of men not my employees ... And I speak up very often but today I chose to be a listener. But you have the answers I guess https://t.co/LDY6dhbDhJ— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) January 18, 2017
The critic ended up making peace in the end...
@Dame_Lillard Nope, just experience and study. I believe you are trying hard and doing the best you can.— OregonAngler (@ORCALMD) January 18, 2017
...but it’s still unusual and interesting to see a bona fide NBA star take on a topic like this so directly and personally. Whether you agree with Damian Lillard’s, there’s no doubt it’s his and he’s going to defend it.
Blazer’s Edge Night 2017
Want to assist us in sending 2,000+ underprivileged Portland-area kids to a Trail Blazers game this spring? Check out Blazer’s Edge Night 2017 for information on how to get involved, and help spread the word!
—Dave firstname.lastname@example.org / @Blazersedge / @DaveDeckard