It was past two in the afternoon when Damian Lamonte Ollie Lillard, the Portland Trailblazers dynamic 6’3’’ point guard, made his way to the seating area of the Kerry Sports Arena in Shang-ri La The Fort, Bonifacio Global City for his Manila press conference. The two-time NBA all-star took several questions from the media and this was what I asked him:
Dr. Tedi Villasor: “Hi Dame. We have a lot of aspiring high school, collegiate, and professional (basketball) players. Could you give us in your opinion what are the five qualities that they should possess to be really good basketball players?
Damian Lillard: “Off the top of my head, I would say that number one would have to be character. If you have high character, you work hard, be a good teammate, coachable and…all of the intangibles that go along with it.
Having a good work ethic…wanting it more. Keep advancing in the levels of the game. Get your team to improve (towards) a championship.
Third is…being competitive. Some guys keep raising (their) level (of play).
Fourth, be honest with yourself. It is very important to be honest with yourself when it comes to weaknesses. You might be in a situation where you have to be that guy in the last six or seven games. Understand who you are and understand the situation you are in.
The last thing I would say is being “an everyday guy.” When I was in college my coach would always tell me that anybody could be good for one day or two days but it takes a certain (individual) to be “an everyday guy,” (one who will consitently) show up for practice (and do what is needed in order to be successful).
After the 30-minute press conference, the Oakland, California native proceeded to do some one-on-one interviews with other news groups as well as pose for photos with the winners of the Adidas #DameTimeManila meet-and-greet promo.
Lillard then capped off his twelve-hour stay in Manila with the Adidas Take On Summer Tour #DameTimeManila event that happened later on that evening at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Many thanks to Greenbulb, Adidas Philippines, and NextJam.