Blazers' Damian Lillard: 'I Don't Expect No Credit. I Don't Expect No Love'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 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 has been superb in the NBA's restart at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, being named the bubble MVP and leading the Portland Trail Blazers to the postseason.

But as Lillard told Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic, he doesn't need validation from the outside world:

"At this point in my career, bruh, I don't expect no credit. I don't expect no love. Because I don't do what I do for them to judge me a certain way. I have my own reasons for what I do. I have my own stuff I want to accomplish. I want my coach to keep his job. I want my teammates to be rewarded with good contracts. I want to be a winning player. I want my teammates to enjoy playing with me and feel like they're a part of something special. All that stuff matters to me. Making sure I stay true to who I am as a person and being real about everything."

So the next time you are debating the top point guards in the game or scrolling through an article ranking the NBA's top stars, just know Lillard doesn't really care all that much where he lands in those conversations: 

"So, I mean, when it comes to everybody being like, 'Who's the best point guard and who's the superstar and who's not?' I don't really care about that sh-t. I can honestly say I don't care. When somebody is just discrediting me or acting like I'm not doing something that I'm doing, I might say something. I'm not moved by it or nothing like that because I do what I do for me and by my own standards and not by the media or what the public thinks."

One opinion he might value a bit more than others is that of superstar LeBron James, who had nothing but praise for Lillard ahead of the first-round matchup between the Blazers and Los Angeles Lakers:


"One of the most underappreciated, underrated players that we have in our game." @KingJames talks Dame Lillard ahead of the Lakers’ first round matchup vs. the Blazers with @ChrisBHaynes. https://t.co/9cz5e2HJtc

Perhaps the praise from teammate Carmelo Anthony will mean something too. 

"Dame's at the top for me," Anthony told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports and TNT when asked to name the best player he's ever sided with on an NBA team. "I've never played with someone who lifted his team on the court with his play and as a leader. He genuinely cares for his teammates. What he's been able to do is amazing. He's the top guy I've played with."

Lillard has been on another level in Orlando and was a well-deserved bubble MVP, with all respect to Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker:

Tom Haberstroh @tomhaberstroh

Damian Lillard named Bubble MVP. Averaged 37.3 points on .497/.436/.888 shooting and 9.6 assists. https://t.co/8siaFGdZoI

With a playoff spot on the line, Lillard handled his business. He's earned a reputation for coming up in the clutch throughout his career, too. For Dame, it's all about having the right mindset. 

"I gotta rise to the occasion," he told Thompson. "When it happens, I'm like, 'I'm built for this moment.' And a lot of that is because I ain't scared to come up short. I think that's a real big part of my success. I say what I really think, I say what I feel, and I say it knowing that I can deal with it not going my way and knowing that I stand on the real. I go into every battle with that type of mentality."