Vaguely Literary: Damian Lillard x Walden

Damian, last month was SLAM’s Music Issue, and you were too busy being on the cover for a proper book recommendation. Your lyrics as Dame D.O.L.L.A. tend to follow the theme of “you doubted me, I worked hard, look at how nice my life is now,” and you’ve made some observations about the shallow pursuit of money and fame. You are smart enough to go to a deeper place, out in the woods crafted by the great transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau with Walden.

Thoreau removed himself from society to commune with nature and simple living. What emerged was Walden, a masterpiece, broken into sections, encouraging the reader to abandon aspirational living, to truly learn who you are by detaching from what’s expected. A very popular read in Portland. But here’s the thing, Damian: The Blazers are not going to win a championship this year.

You are one of the top young guards in the League; you’re in a conference with Westbrook, Harden and Curry. Don’t worry about the All-Star snub. Thoreau explored how you can gain happiness by looking at the big picture, seeing competition for what it is. It’s a difficult read because of some archaic language, but think of the impact on your bars. As you move on through this season, putting up stats and highlights on a futile quest for maybe some playoff glory, you have time to sit back and read.

Sam Rubenstein is a SLAM contributing writer and a high school English teacher in Brooklyn. Follow him on Twitter @SamRubenstein.

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