Despite being a three-time All-Star and one of the top point guards in the NBA, Damian Lillard believes he still doesn't get the credit he deserves.
He was snubbed for the All-Star games in 2016 and 2017 and he shared his frustrations publicly on several occasions.
Lillard has been unfortunate because the NBA currently boasts its best ever generation of point guards.
The Portland Trail Blazers star is having to compete with the likes of Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook and Kyrie Irving to name a few.
Those players have won championships and MVP awards in recent years, which is why they get more recognition.
But that shouldn't diminish what Lillard has done since he arrived in the league, playing at a high level since he was drafted in 2012.
The 28-year-old has never averaged less than 19 points per game and can match anybody offensively.
In a recent interview with CGTN, Lillard discussed how he's viewed compared to his peers and admitted he doesn't feel he gets enough respect.
“How steady I am and how consistent I do what I do at a high level kind of gets overlooked sometimes,” he said.
But the Oakland native was certainly recognised last season as he was named to the All-NBA first team for the first time in his career after a fabulous year.
He averaged 26.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game and led Portland to a third-place finish in the tough Western Conference.
Lillard has posted 25 or more points in the last three campaigns but only returned to the All-Star fold last season after a two-year absence.
“That’s been one of the hardest things, to keep doing it over and over, even when it’s not respected the way it should be,” Lillard added.
The clutch gene
Dame has also earned himself a reputation as one of the best clutch players in the league as he frequently comes up with big buckets in crunch time.
In the same interview, he detailed an experience in his younger days that helped him be fearless in the big moments.
“I remember in the eighth grade I had a game-winning shot. I think we were down by two," he recalled.
"I hit a three-pointer with one second left and I took my jersey off and started celebrating.
"It was one second left and I got a tech and the other team got two free throws. We ended up losing the game by one and that was the worst thing that could ever happen.”
“I think it just made me more calm in those situations and it's just going to be what it’s going to be.”
The west will be even more competitive in 2018-19 with the arrival of LeBron James but Dame can make a statement and remind everybody just how good he is when the Blazers host the King's Los Angeles Lakers in the season opener.
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