Blazer fans, welcome your new fearless leader, Damian Lillard.
The buzz around Lillard grew throughout the summer, into camp and more during the preseason. Then, in a season-opening win over the LA Lakers, it boiled over even more. It’s for good reason – the No. 6 overall pick scored 23 points and had 11 assists in his professional debut. That’s great.
But that wasn’t his biggest contribution. He came through the biggest on what was probably his worst decision of the night. And it was a missed shot.
It came early in the game when the 6-3, 195-pound Lillard tried to dunk over the hulking 6-11, 265-pound Dwight Howard. Lillard got stuffed, fell to the ground and the ball went out of bounds.
This play, this one unspectacular offensive play, proved to everyone in Portland that Damian Lillard is here to play ball and he is not backing down from anyone. He saw an opportunity and he tried to seize it. Sure, the smarter play is to float the ball over Howard. But it was the rookie’s first game and he wanted to make a statement – he wanted Howard on a poster. (more…)
Founded in 1963, the Big Sky Conference consists of nine public collegiate institutions situated all over the western region of the United States.
Notable conference members include Weber State, Montana State, Portland State, Northern Arizona, and Eastern Washington. Constantly in the shadow of larger and grander collegiate sporting conferences, the Big Sky Conference isn’t known for producing a large crop of athletes ready to compete at the professional level. Yet last night at the 2012 NBA Draft, Weber State’s coveted point guard Damian Lillard found himself ascending center stage as the Portland Trailblazer’s sixth overall pick, the third Big Sky basketball player in the history of the conference ever to be selected in the first round of an NBA Draft. (more…)