Damian Lillard emotionally drained after six recent deaths in his family

2021-03-04T11:27:45+00:00 2021-03-04T11:27:45+00:00.

Giannis Askounis

04/Mar/21 11:27


“People have no idea” claims Damian Lillard opening up on multiple family tragedies over the past 18 months

By Johnny Askounis/ info@eurohoops.net

Damian Lillard talked to The Athletic’s Jason Quick about the emotional toll of facing the death of six family members over the past 18 months. The Portland Trail Blazers point guard also touched on how he decided to play through these tragedies.

“It’s been a hard year and a half for my family, man. People have no idea,” he said. He found his cousin and personal chef, Brandon Johnson, dead last May, his aunt died of cancer, a family friend died of COVID-19, in January days after his twins were born a cousin was killed, and last week another cousin and a close friend were shot and killed.

“I stood over his body, man. Like, he was dead. Minutes. I’m standing over his body,” he told The Athletic referring to the cousin he found dead, “People don’t know what type of trauma that is, and what that is to have somebody that close to you laid out and you stand over him. Like, I still struggle with that. You know what I mean? Like, I still struggle with that. That’s a battle for me.”

“What really matters in life, you know?” he wondered, “When you consider that, and when you consider what your family is going through… it’s a battle mentally to put yourself in that place where this game is the most important thing right now.”

Learning the news of the two most recent losses, he considered not playing versus the Los Angeles Lakers last Friday. “Emotionally I was like, whatever,” he said describing his feelings prior to logging 25 points and seven assists in that match.

“I have to put those emotions to the side to care about the game and make sure I’m here for my teammates, and to do my job, because my job takes care of a lot of my family. It does a lot of things for people in my family,” he added, “I think understanding that is what helps me kind of push forward.”

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