I really enjoyed this SB Nation on the impact Damian Lillard has had on the Portland Trail Blazers’ organization. Lillard’s influence goes so far beyond his 26.9 points per game average, Lillard has not only become the emotional leader of the team, but also a leader in the Portland community. I thought this article might be a great one for you to share with your best player as an example of how Lillard uses his massive influence to raise the level of play within Portland’s entire roster.
To get the best out his team, Dame approaches each of his teammates differently. He has developed a partnership with C.J. McCollum that’s built on mutual respect. He encourages Meyers Leonard, who had fallen out of the rotation, by recognizing the big man’s work in practice. Then there’s Jusuf Nurkic, whom Olshey cheerfully calls, “The highest variance player in the league.” Nurkic can be a beast when engaged, and Dame is usually the one doing the engaging. He talks to him on the floor and sits next to him on the bench. He encourages often, but won’t let Nurkic make excuses. They watch film on the plane after games and Dame usually has a few plays he wants to go over, which he gets to when Nurk is ready.
For more on Lillard:
-Damian Lillard ball handling workout (LINK)
-How Lillard and the Blazers found a brand-new ceiling (LINK)
-Damian Lillard’s leadership (LINK)
-Damian Lillard sends a message (LINK)
— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) April 9, 2018