Damian Lillard
Photo: Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard has earned his place among the elite players in the NBA. The 30-year-old guard is having the best season of his career stat-wise and is an MVP candidate. Most recently, he exploded with 50 points in Portland’s win over New Orleans.

After the game, he spoke about his path to success. “None of those things that you mentioned would be possible without work. I wasn’t a highly touted middle school player, high school player or college player,” Lillard said. “I had to do my work behind the scenes, like you did, I had to earn my way.

“And I didn’t know that I was going to ever get the credit for it or ever get the results for it. So, I know what it’s like to be unknown and you know, not have the lights on you, and to want to be seen, and want a scholarship to a big school and things like that. I was behind the scenes doing the work. I don’t forget those steps that it took for me to get here.”

This season, Dame is averaging 30.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 8 assists per game as the Trail Blazers occupy 6th place in the Western Conference.