Damian Lillard had one of the best rookie seasons we have ever seen from a Blazer. On Wednesday he was rewarded with the 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. He joined Chad on Flight 750 Thursday to talk about the award and his rookie season.
“I just wanted to tell a little bit about myself and what I went through when I went off to college – The emotions in high school, not having a scholarship until the end of my Junior year, and then all the criticism I faced coming out. I just wanted to share a little more and maybe that could light a fire under people that might be facing those same circumstances.”
Lillard also talked about the high praise he got over the year from some of the biggest stars in the NBA.
“As a rookie, what you want to do most is earn the veteran’s respect – The best players in the league, you want them to respect you. If not, you’ll get run over. To have the best players in the league come out and make those types of compliments about me, it felt great.”
And finally he talked about one of the best defensive point guards in the history of the NBA, Gary Payton, reaching out to him to try to help him improve his defense.
“He said that I’m one of the quickest guards in the league. I’m strong. I’m athletic. And he was saying that I’ve got everything that I need to be a really good defender. And he just told me that it takes time to develop into a good defender in the NBA and that’s what people don’t know because it’s a lot of new stuff.”
Take a listen to the interview and be sure to tune in to 750thegame all week long as we discuss Lillard’s Rookie campaign.