Before Damian Lillard entered the NBA and became a rookie sensation for the Portland Trail Blazers, he was doing the same silly things a lot of 20-year-olds do on social media like tweeting NBA stars rather blasphemous comments.
The point guard who was still at Weber State University at the time of the 2011 NBA finals was like the rest of us, watching LeBron James and the Miami Heat uncharacteristically fall apart against the Dallas Mavericks and slump to a 4-2 series defeat.
It was the season in which James had infamously 'taken his talents to South Beach' in order to partner with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami, the super-team created by the Heat had become the NBA villains and LeBron took the brunt of the criticism.
Lillard who was a die-hard fan of the Miami Heat was feeling let down by the performance of James and when the Heat began the collapse on the grandest stage, he blasted the King in a rather idiotic manner of Twitter.
The tweets sent by Lillard were dug up this week and have since been deleted by the Trail Blazers star but the remnants of his idiocy remain in the archives of the internet which means further addressing of the matter was to begin.
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Back in 2011, Lillard went on the full frontal attack of James whilst watching the NBA finals, he blasted the small forward for his play and unceremoniously used some rather scathing language in his assault.
The list of brutal interactions played out like this:
"@KingJames please get yo ass out of “too cool” mode and takeover . PLEASE n***a!!! Damn!!!"
@KingJames I don’t feel bad for yo fake focused ass, I feel bad for dwade, and MYSELF cuz I wanted it more than you. #damnshame
@KingJames I may have been one of yo biggest fans. But THIS series u played like a straight p***y.
@KingJames talents to south beach? N***A!! You took the spotlight nd a ego. You left the talents haha. Them shits in Cleveland ."
Only until the tweets were recently exposed has Lillard had to respond to his stupid behaviour back in 2011, the 24-year-old quickly reached out to LeBron to hash things out with the superstar.
Lillard via Joe Freeman of The Oregonian has explained what has happened and his further conversations with LeBron:
“One of my coaches used to always tell me that when you make mistakes, you’ve got to face the music, In college, me and some of my college teammates were messing around. I was the obvious Miami Heat fan and they wanted Dallas to win and I made some comments about LeBron that was uncalled for. And that just goes to show that a lot of kids now on the social network, a lot of the stuff that you put out there, you never know when it can come back. So my advice to them is to be careful with that."
“It was just irresponsible. It’s something that I’m not proud of. But I can also say that I’ve grown up since then. And I was just a young kid doing crazy stuff with my teammates. Luckily I know LeBron, Me and LeBron are cool. We’ve talked about that. And he knows that I respect him a lot. I’m a huge fan of his.”
Lillard handled the situation very professionally since his poor judgement and LeBron was also asked about the incident, he responded via Joe Vardon of The Plain Dealer by saying:
“I don’t really get into social media like that, He came to me before it even got to me and we hashed out it out right there. So no big deal.”
The 24-year-old has certainly learnt his lesson of how the spotlight of the professional ranks can bring up old incidents that certainly don't paint you in the best light, a matured Lillard has done more than enough to put this behind him.
James is certainly not the type of character to hold a grudge from any situation like this, he is much too dignified and aware to allow something like this to bother him. It will probably be the last we hear of this particular digression.