Want to know about Damian Lillard’s effect on the city of Portland? Ask Blazer’s Edge podcaster Tara Bowen-Biggs. That’s what ESPN’s Kevin Van Valkenburg did in a piece on the aftermath of Lillard’s series-winning shot against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Van Valkenburg spends the first part of the article describing the razor-thin margin between Lillard and NBA immortality, which moments like the buzzer-beater help to thin.
In his seventh season with the Blazers, Lillard has long been one of the league’s most entertaining scorers -- lurking around the edges of superstardom, but never truly cementing his status there until he hit the shot that became the GIF Watched Round the World. As great as he has been, every big shot he’s made has also left us wanting more, raising the stakes along with expectations. It is the blessing and the curse that every great NBA player faces as he tries to become basketball royalty, and some never make it.
He goes on to suggest that typical accolades tell only part of the story, which is where the Bowen-Biggs quote comes in.
“He’s the kind of guy I think we all hope our kids will grow up to be,” says Tara Bowen-Biggs, a lifelong Portland resident who is the co-host of the popular “Blazers Edge” podcast. “Any athlete can have a coat drive, and certainly some have done that here and it’s been awesome. But Dame comes in and he wants to be a part of the community leadership without even blinking. He could have just gone about his business and been a star, but he decided he’d rather come here and make a difference.”
You can click through the link above for 1948 more words about Lillard’s greatness. Well spent, too.