Damian Lillard was selected as a reserve for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans last week as part of an “Inside the NBA” broadcast. In the days since, it was also announced that, as a second-year player, he was added to the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. As the winner of the skills challenge in 2013, Lillard will also be defending that title in a week and a half.
Now it seems like the Portland Trail Blazers point guard will have even more on his plate come All-Star Weekend.
According to a report from CSNNW, the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year has accepted the league’s invitation to compete in the slam dunk contest. Though a point guard listed at only 6’3”, Lillard has shown on a number of occasions that he has the athleticism and hops to sky for some pretty impressive throw-downs.
What’s better about Lillard being in the dunk contest than what he brings to the table in terms of his dunking ability, though, is the fact that it puts a player with value to his name in the contest. One of the biggest issues people have had with the dunk contest in recent seasons is the fact that no stars or big-name players seem to take part in it. Lillard is a young guy, but he’s already proven and earned the spotlight as he enters the dunk contest.
What will be interesting to watch regarding Lillard over the next couple of days, though, is to see what happens with the three-point contest. According to the same report from CSNWW, the league has invited the point guard to compete in that contest as well, but Lillard is still waiting to make a decision.
If Lillard were to accept an invitation to the three-point contest, he would become the first player in NBA history to compete in all five of the major All-Star Weekend events. Considering that he’s shooting 40.9 percent from three this season, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of the Blazers point man making history in that regard.