In an emotional interview with The Athletic, Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard — who earned All-Star honors for the sixth time in nine seasons — revealed there is much more going on with him than what fills the stat sheet and triggers talk show debates.
“It’s been a hard year and a half for my family, man,” Lillard said. “People have no idea.”
In the past 18 months, Lillard has dealt with the deaths of multiple family members and close friends. Last Thursday, the day before Portland played the Lakers, Lillard learned of the shooting deaths of two people in his inner circle. He told The Athletic he considered not playing the next day’s game.
“I thought about (not playing), because mentally I was like … I don’t want to say I didn’t care, because I did care,” Lillard said. “But emotionally, I was like, whatever.”
Lillard, who has continued to play at a near-MVP-level, admitted he is drained as he enters the final games before the All-Star break.
“Not like I’m physically tired, but where I’m emotionally drained,” Lillard said.
Read the full, exclusive, one-on-one interview with Lillard in the “Go Deeper” section below.