Damian Lillard Discusses Being NBA 2K21 Cover Athlete, Favorite PG, More

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2020

Portland Trail Blazers' Carmelo Anthony, right, and Damian Lillard celebrate the team's win over the Philadelphia 76ers in an NBA basketball game Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)
Kevin C. Cox/Associated Press

Damian Lillard joined Portland Trail Blazers teammate Carmelo Anthony on the latter's What's In Your Glass show on his YouTube channel Monday and discussed a number of topics, including his mindset being someone who was overlooked for much of his career, his music and what it was like to be one of the NBA 2K21 cover athletes.

"My mindset was always to prove people wrong," Lillard said when asked about his basketball journey from three high schools—at one of which he rarely saw the court as a sophomore—to a small college program at Weber State to the NBA.

"What it came down to is that real belief that I had in myself and refusing to be denied," he added. "I didn't really listen to a whole lot of what people had to say that was negative."

The five-time All-Star also pointed to his work ethic and the values his upbringing instilled in him when discussing how to overcome difficult situations on the floor.

"When something like the other night happened and I missed some free throws, I'm going to be pissed off at myself but it ain't gonna break me because the confidence is built-in," he said of the key free throws he missed in the final minute of Saturday's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

All he did was bounce back and pour in 51 points in a Sunday win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Lillard also answered a number of questions in Anthony's rapid-fire portion of the interview, revealing his favorite point guard of all time is Allen Iverson (with a shout out to Nick Van Exel, Gilbert Arenas, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf and Stephon Marbury) and that Drake is the one artist he would pick to work with in his music career.

That music career as Dame D.O.L.L.A. also played a role in the process of becoming one of the NBA 2K21 cover athletes.

"The coolest part was them letting me have the playlist for the game," he said. "I did a few tracks for them, there's one that I can't even mention yet that's gonna be hard."

While basketball fans wait for that new song to be released, they will surely continue following Lillard's battle for the playoffs at Walt Disney World Resort. His Trail Blazers are 33-39 and a half-game behind the Memphis Grizzlies and a half-game ahead of the Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs in the race for the two play-in tournament spots.

They face the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday and the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday in their final two seeding games.