With Blake Griffin out with an elbow injury, which will require surgery, Portland Trailblazers’ point guard Damian Lillard has been tapped as a replacement for his second All-Star Game appearance.
Before Griffin’s injury, Lillard wasn’t selected to join the Western Conference All-Star team and felt disrespected with his snub. “I’m definitely going to take it personal. I said I’d be pissed off about it. And I am. I just felt disrespected. Because I play the game the right way, I play unselfishly, I play for my team to win games and I produce at a high level.”
Lillard wasn’t the only player who was chosen as a replacement due to injury. Center DeMarcus Cousins was recently chosen to replace the injured Kobe Bryant.
Although injuries had to take place for Lillard to be included, he is still thankful. “The guys that were picked for the team, they deserved it. I said that then. I just felt I should have been one of them and I wasn’t. It was unfortunate that it had to happen for Blake for me to have an opportunity and for it to happen to Kobe, but I’m thankful for the opportunity.”
In 52 games, Lillard has averaged 21.6 points, 6.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds, helping lead the Trailblazers to a 35-17 record — 4th in the Western Conference. He will join teammate LaMarcus Aldridge as a reserve.