Portland Trail Blazers star guard Damian Lillard sees his struggles as an opportunity to show the world his real character. "I always look at struggles as an opportunity to show my true character," Lillard said after finishing with 20 points and 10 assists, but shooting just 7-for-20 from the field and 2-for-9 from 3-point range in a 113-103 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
"When things go great there's a lot of praise that goes along with that. A lot of people give you a lot of credit. They speak highly of you on social media, TV. 'Oh Dame had 60, Dame had 50.' They speak really highly of you.
But I think it says more when you're going through something and s--- is kind of hitting the fan and you're struggling and everybody's got something to say and to me the real ones, they can keep on trucking and keep on going and still find a way to get the job done.
"And, me personally, I love when those opportunities present themselves. Because when I am riding high and when I do get smoking hot and when I get going people are going to look at it and be like, 'We remember when you were struggling and you didn't shy away from it.'
I think it will be more respect for the success when they see how you handle failure and how you handle struggle."
Lillard says no excuses for his struggles
Lillard entered the 76ers game averaging career lows in points (18.3), field goal percentage (34.9%) and 3-point shooting (23.2%), Lillard acknowledges that he is not dealing with any injuries and that there is no excuses for his struggles.
"I have no excuses," Lillard said, adding he doesn't have any injury issues, either, after dealing with an abdominal problem with Team USA at the Olympics this summer. "I don't know what y'all want me to say about it.
I prepared well for the season, my mind is clear. "I don't have no reason for it. I don't have nothing to lean on. I'm not shooting the ball well, and for our team to be successful I've got to shoot the ball better, and I accept that.
I know that I'm going to shoot the ball better and I know what it's going to look like and I've done it many times."