He'd been snubbed two years straight, but not this year. That's right, Portland's own Damian Lillard is back on the All-Star team. 'Bout damn time!
Lillard has been named an All-Star twice before, back in 2014 and 2015, but since then he's been one of the most notable snubs from the highly competitive western conference guard pool. He hasn't been shy about voicing his displeasure over getting left out either, saying he'd be "pissed off" if he got snubbed in 2015. In 2016, he released the song "They Sleep" after not being selected. The song included the lyrics, "I ain’t make the All-Stars but I’m flu game sick. Last time they count me out, what I do Game 6?" Game 6 refers to his most famous game winning shot in the playoff vs. the Houston Rockets.
Portland fans should of course be happy about having an All-Star on their home team, but Lillard has also been known to use the past snubs as motivation to play even better. Last year he won his first NBA Player of the Month award right after missing out, averaging an insane 35 points per game and torching the Miami Heat for 49 points. Shortly after that he dropped a career high 59 points on the Utah Jazz.
Damian Lillard is only the sixth Trailblazer to make the All-Star team three times. Asked about the selection process earlier this season, he told ESPN's Chris Haynes, "I feel like I should be there". And now he is. The All-Star game will be played in Los Angeles on February 18. Congratulations, Dame!