Damian Lillard

USA Today

Damian Freaking Lillard

50 burger. Game winner. Mic drop. Walk off.

April 24, 2019 - 10:01 am
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How was that for a night of sports? What an unbelievable Tuesday. . Philly eliminates Brooklyn. The Golden Knights and Sharks do what they did. That was an unbelievable game. Vegas goes into the third period with a 3-0 lead in Game 7 on the road and then watches San Jose score four straight to take the lead. And then Vegas scores with less than a minute to go in regulation to tie it?!? Are you kidding me?

For a while last night, that was going to lead the show. That’s how good that game was. It was going to take the first spot of the show away from Philly stomping Brooklyn and Oklahoma City winning in Portland to keep their season alive.

Because despite Damian Lillard going for 34 in the first half, the Thunder had the lead in the second half and looked like they were going to take the series back to OKC.

And then came this tweet from the Blazers twitter account:

NURK IS HERE!

Nurk is here. In all caps. He was watching at home and said after that he left his house to come to the arena with three minutes left in the third quarter: “I knew it was gonna make a difference.”

And if you think I’m taking my time on this, you’re damn right I am. Because you’ve probably already seen what happened. And if you haven’t, that’s on you. But what happened is even more impressive when you know the build up to it.

Because sure enough, Nurk rolled in and Portland went on a run. But before we get into that run, how about a moment for Nurk’s fashion? He came to Game 5 at the last moment wearing a shirt that read: Got Bricks? Next Question.

Incredible. Rocking a t-shirt clowning Russell Westbrook. The crowd responded to his arrival. His teammates responded to his arrival. After being down 15 with less than 8 minutes to go and 8 with less than four minutes left, the Blazers battled back.

Lillard tied it 115.

Russell Westbrook went down and missed a drive of his own, and then came this. Damian Lamonte Ollie Lillard Senior with the ball. Time is running down. He has Paul George, one of the best defenders in the league, on him. So what do you do? Do you try to drive past him and draw contact? Get into the paint and try to get it off the backboard.

Nope. You dribble. You stay roughly a mile from the basket and at the last second, let it fly.

When he let that go, my reaction was: what the hell was that?

And when it went down, my reaction was: WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!?

I’ll tell you what the hell that was – one of the most ridiculous game-winners you will ever see. In any sport. Ever.

50 burger. Game winner. Mic drop. Walk off. Don’t even change expression. Have yourself a night, Dame! 

And the best part of that shot…thee shot that they’ll be talking about for decades to come in the PDX, the best part of that shot… may not have even been the shot itself. 

Because as cold-blooded as the shot was, the shot wasn’t the best part. The best part was: the reaction. And The Wave.

My man ran a stake through the heart of Russ, PG, the Munster kid and all of OKC proper….pulled it out of their chest, let them bleed out…and THEN waved goodbye. 

He just buried a shot from about a thousand feet away to end the series, to get to 50, and he WAVED at the Thunder as they lay their dying.

That was a superstar series from Dame, but that was a legendary moment. That wave was iconic. MJ used to have the greatest game-winner reaction ever with that leaping air punch over poor Craig Ehlo, but this tops that. Because this was cold as hell.

He had professional journalists cursing on twitter in awe. He had LeBron James tweeting a watch emoji.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again: Dame Time is all the damn time.

And if the wave wasn’t iconic enough, how about him looking up at the camera when he’s being mobbed by his teammates and he has an absolutely blank look on his face?

He is an absolute killer. A stone cold assassin. He makes Jay Wright and Tony Bennett look like complete spazzes in pressure situations. The shot. The wave. The stare.

And did you catch him in his postgame interview on the court? The guy sounded like he was talking about a Wednesday night game in January, not a close out game in a deeply personal series, where he hit 50 from 50 to end it.

And then, when he had some time for it to all sink in, he was still very matter of fact about it. That shot? That was nothing at all. The thing he prepared for and expected:  

"Pound dribble. Side step. Raise up."

Let me change that: pound dribble. Side step. Raise up. Reach into their collective chest, rip their heart out, show it to them, eat it….and then wave.

Oh, and about that wave:

That was a statement too. His whole series was a statement. If you haven’t been paying attention, that’s on you. Because a superstar wasn’t born in this series. A superstar was born in practice gyms when he was working on that shot with Phil Beckner. You just noticed him now. And if you just noticed him now, you’re too late.

A legendary shot, a legendary wave, and a legendary reaction... I’ll say it again so you can hear me: Dame Time is All The Damn Time