It’s been Dame time all season long in Portland.
The All-Star point guard has led the Blazers to the No. 3 seed in a competitive Western Conference, averaging 26.8 points, 6.6 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game.
Dame hasn’t entirely stopped fighting for validation, even if that pursuit isn’t his sole drive. At the all-star break he declared he was as good as any point guard in the league and he has not backed off that stance.
“I should be first team All-NBA,” he says. “That’s how I feel. But I also feel like, this is how it’s going to be.”
As Dame told Flannery, his success has partially stemmed from a revelation he had before the 2017-18 campaign began:
“It’s funny, because coming into this season, I kind of just relaxed,” Lillard tells me following a mid-March practice. “I was like man, I’m not going to kill myself over people not recognizing what I’m doing. I don’t need validation. I just let it go.”