We have seen some NBA players try their luck in the music business. Shaquille O'Neal's Shaq Diesel may be the most notable album put out by a player. In his mind, Lillard believes that he can be a successful hip-hop artist.
The 23-year-old discussed his ambition with CSNNW.com's Chris Haynes:
If my profile continues to increase, I think I can go platinum with my music. Not to knock anybody else who has done it, but I can actually rap. I have a story to tell. It’s not going to just be about basketball. I have more content than that. With the way I know I can get down, and the producers that I’ll align myself with, there’s no reason not to think I couldn’t go platinum. Shaq proved it’s possible.
He's only in his second year in the NBA, but he has set the bar high for himself.
If he does produce an album during the season, it would consume a lot of his time. He would have to figure out how to balance music with the daily grind of a pro basketball player. While that may be a difficult situation to manage, it sounds like he wants to make it work. The Portland star believes he would be successful because of experience and his passion:
I’ve been rapping for a long time and now I’m in a position to where I can help others get through their day with my music. [Dropping an album] is something that I’m excited about because I know a lot of people don’t expect much from me because they feel they’ve seen this before. But I’m not like the other players that have done it. They’ll see in time.
All the things I devote my time to are things that are important to me. When it’s important to you, it’s not a hassle or a burden. Like I said, my music will be primarily to help others by telling them a little bit about my life. Plus, the fact that I think that I’m good at it is another reason.
Lillard has confidence in himself, on and off the court. He has shown that he can excel through hard work and dedication.
Of course, being a rapper can hurt a player's image if the lyrical content is too profane. There's a line that he would have to draw when it comes to swearing, and it looks like he is aware of that:
I think there’s a few curse words that I can say. Obviously, there is a couple that I will stay away from. But times have changed. I think a player can put more into his lyrics nowadays. Certain curse words are everywhere on television. I won’t use a ton but they’ll be some in there.
Lillard knows that he is the face of the franchise, which means he needs to choose his words wisely. It looks like he has given it some serious thought, so he is certainly on the right path to being successful.
Players should take advantage of their fame whenever possible. Careers can come to an end at any moment, so Lillard is smart to expand his brand while his career is still in its infancy.
If he continues to make a name for himself in the NBA, Lillard may actually be able to achieve his goal of obtaining a platinum plaque.