2013 NBA Rookie Of The Year Damian Lillard is the new cover star of NBA Live 15. He took some time to talk with us about his favorite version of the game, #4BarFriday & much more.
Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard has been steadily making a name for himself amongst the best of the best in the NBA. The Oakland born gunner has been on a tear ever since he came to the league, drafted 6th overall in the 2012 NBA Draft. The former 3rd team All American was giving teams fits, en route to a Rookie Of The Year award winning season, putting up 19.0 points, 6.5 assists and 3.1 rebounds a contest in 2013. He followed up that spectacular performance by having a season you could labeled as his “coming out party” to the world.
Last season, Lillard averaged 20.7 points, 5.6 assists, and 3.5 rebounds a game, numbers good enough to participate in his first NBA all star game while leading his Blazers to a phenomenal playoff run. Memorable moments like his game and series winning three pointer to upset the heavily favored Houston Rockets have really launched the scoring bandit to superstar status as he is often being compared to Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, Derrick Rose and Chris Paul amongst the best of best in this new age of NBA point guards. Lillard was chosen to become the new face for the upcoming ‘NBA Live 15’ game being presented by EA Sports. The Source Sports caught up with the west coast standout to talk about it, check out what he had to say.
The Source Sports : Coming off of an outstanding season and playoff moments that will forever live on in Trailblazer history, what can the good folks from Portland expect from Oakland’s own for the 2015 season?
DL:I think they can expect a better player….and somebody that is committed to coming back and trying to help the team be a better team than we were last year.
The Source Sports : Has their been any pressure of living up to the hype as being regarded as the most underrated point guard in a group where you have CP3, Steph Curry and Kyrie Irving and other greats who play your position?
DL: I don’t really buy into that stuff. I’m going to be me, I’m going to work hard, I’m going to keep my mouth shut, I’m going to show up on the court and going to play and do my job and help my team win. It’s way too much talk about “oh, who is the best player in the league” and “top point guard this”. All of that is determined by whose team is the most successful. It’s never bigger than that to me, everybody can say “whose the best in this position and that position” but Tony Parker won the championship last year and before that it was Norris Cole. It don’t matter.
The Source Sports :You are on the cover of NBA Live 15, that’s a huge honor. We want to congratulate you on that. How does it feel to receive that honor being a part of a list that includes greats such as Tim Hardaway, Kevin Garnett, Antoine Walker and others as the cover men?
DL: Appreciate that man….Yeah it is a honor to be mentioned with those names you just named is big time and a lot of people don’t get the opportunity to be on the video game let alone be the cover of one. I’m just thankful for the opportunity, it makes me realize that I gotta keep working hard because along with this comes expectations I gotta live up to it. I’m excited about it.
The Source Sports: Growing up, what was your favorite NBA Live to play?
DL: My favorite Live is……probably Live 2002 with Steve Francis I think.
TSS: Out of all the NBA Live editions, why that one?
DL: I think because it was Steve Francis on the cover. I used to be a huge Steve Francis fan when I was 10, maybe 11 years old. I was 11 years old and I remembered when the Rockets came to play against the Warriors, and we had tickets to the game and he let me come on the court and shoot while they was warming up, so I never forget that.
The Source Sports :I see on the Live 15 soundtrack track list, there are appearances by Cam’ron, Jeezy, K-Camp, Jeremih and TeeFli, just to name a few. How does the games soundtrack reflects the type of music NBA players listen to today? – CHECK OUT THE EA LIVE 2015 Soundtrack Hub HERE
DL: I wouldn’t say it influences it, but I definitely think it’ll put it on their radars. When you play games, the songs stick with you and that’s how it always been with me anytime I’m playing a video game and it has music on it, I just naturally remembered the songs and they end up being the song that I would have on my phone. I think it grows on you.
The Source Sports : What are some of your favorite artists you listen to, to help you turn up for practices, games or when you’re just hanging out with your friends?
DL: I really like J. Cole, I like Nas, Juvenile…music like that, just chill lyricists.
The Source Sports : Now besides averaging 20 PPG, signing a new shoe contract for Adidas, you’ve started a trending topic called “#4BarFriday” where you and any followers can submit a video of themselves rapping a small verse on Instagram. What inspired you to give the fans the opportunity to interact with you through this social media concept?
DL: I just like rapping and I like hearing other people rap. It was an opportunity for me to let fans see another side of me, another interest of mine and for me to being in touch with fans in something other than basketball. I thought it would be a really good idea, it would open up doors for some people depending on how successful it turned out to be, which it’s really growing fast right now. I really just get excited about how it allows me to be in touch with a lot of fans.
The Source Sports : So will the fans be able to hear you spit some heat on a future NBA live soundtrack or are we going to have to wait a little while longer for your rap debut?
DL: Not this year but definitely in the future.
The Source Sports : Lastly, can fans get a sample of some bars you got in your book of rhymes?
DL: You going to have to tap into my Instagram page to get that.
Check out a preview of the innovative #4BarFriday movement Lillard is introducing his followers to and make sure to cop NBA Live 2015 when it’s released on Playstation 4 & Xbox One October 28th.
#4barfriday … Sorry for goofing off lol… One of my favorite beats ever. “Shaking hands often, the respect climbing rapidly Money growing like a beanstalk, nobody Jackin me In and out of city’s , plenty women after me Feeling bad for home , cuz it’s way too many casualties “
#4barfriday… Might be one more coming
Omari feels like Portland fans are blessed to have such a great talent like Lillard putting in the work to help Portland to contend with the elites of the overly competitive Western Conference. Lillard has a great thing going with his #4BarFriday trend, showing fans that not only can he destroy opponents on the court but the new “Agent 0” has bars in his arsenal too. EA’s got a good one in NBA Live 15 cover star Damian Lillard.
-Omari White (@SmooveGuyO)