Damian Lillard receives Rookie of the Year honors
Damian Liilard has been named 2012-13 KIA NBA Rookie of the Year, by unanimous vote.
During the announcement presser, Lillard spoke of his journey to the NBA, including a one-time desire to be a professional wrestler and an initial fear of playing football. Once he became comfortable and good and playing football, he set his sights on the hardwood. He explained that his motivation to be great and to make it to the pros was fueled by his desire to take care of his family.
Despite quiet recruitment and an early foot injury, he overcame criticism and worked extremely hard to prove himself worthy of the opportunities that have come his way.
The Portland Trailblazers drafted Lillard 6th overall out of Weber State in the 2012 draft. He played and started in all 82 games this season, averaging 38.6 MPG (leading all other players in the league), 6.5 APG, and 19 points-per-game.
Of his accomplishment, Lillard said, “I know I put the work in to put myself in this position.”
And, he put everyone on notice when he said, “I expect more next season from myself. Winning this award is just letting me know that everything I did leading up to this point, it paid off. It’s not about collecting some hardware, and the acknowledgement and the attention.”
When asked how he could top winning this award, he answered, “I think the best thing I could do for myself is, take it in today, and then tomorrow I got to let it go.”
He knows there is more work to do, like becoming an All-Star, an MVP, and winning a championship.
I’m pretty sure he is well on his way to accomplishing all his goals and then some.
Only four other players in NBA history received unanimous votes for Rookie of the Year. They are Blake Griffin, Ralph Sampson, and David Robinson.
Former Trailblazers players who received the honor are Geoff Petrie, Sidney Wicks, and Brandon Roy.
Kudos also, to Team Goodwin Sports for all their hard work in helping Lillard realize his dreams.