It’s all or nothing for Portland Trail Blazers star point guard Damian Lillard. If he isn’t named one of the reserves for the 2016 All-Star game, don’t expect him to be in Toronto that weekend.
Damian Lillard said that if he isn’t selected as an All-Star he does not plan to be in the 3-point shootout or in Toronto at all.
— Erik Gundersen (@blazerbanter) January 25, 2016
The respective benches for the East and West teams will be revealed Thursday night on TNT, Lillard’s only chance of making the team unless of injuries to other players.
Lillard has been named an All-Star in back-to-back seasons, though he felt “a little disrespected” after not making the team last season (he later was added as a replacement due to injuries). However, Lillard said two weeks ago, via ESPN’s Mike Mazzeo, he’s not going to flip out if he isn’t named for a third consecutive year.
“I’m kind of at the point now where I don’t really need the validation. It would be great. I want it. But it definitely won’t be the same reaction as last year.”
Lillard missed seven games this season with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, but he’s still among the league leaders in scoring. He ranks fifth at 24.6 points per game, and he’s tied with Toronto’s Kyle Lowry for the most 3-pointers made this season with 120.
Even Los Angeles’ Kobe Bryant, the leading vote-getter for the All-Star game, believes Lillard should be joining him in Toronto. He said it “isn’t even a question.”
NBA coaches will make the All-Star reserve selections by Tuesday afternoon. By then Lillard should know if he’s headed to Toronto or not. If he isn’t, perhaps a vacation is in order for the 25-year-old.
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) January 25, 2016