October 31st around the world is considered to be Halloween, but in Rip City, it’s also known as the day Damian Lillard debuted for the Portland Trail Blazers.
On this day 10 years ago, Lillard played his first regular season game for the Blazers against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Lillard’s debut was no walk in the park, facing Kobe, Pau Gasol and new Lakers acquisitions Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. The Lakers were considered a super team and a title favorite, but that didn’t phase the Blazers’ No. 6 overall pick from Weber State.
Lillard scored 23 points and dished out 11 assists in the Blazers’ 116-106 win over the Lakers, kickstarting his legacy towards becoming one of the best players in franchise history.
Lillard played and started in every game during his rookie season, averaging 19 points and 6.5 assists per game. While the Blazers failed to make the playoffs in Lillard’s rookie year, the team ended the postseason drought a year later as Dame became an All-Star for the first time in his career.
Then, the rest is history.
BE community, do you remember Dame’s debut? Were you there? Do you have any favorite memories from Lillard’s rookie season? Chime off in the comments section below to spread some joy to start off the week.