Tragedy struck on January 26, with Kobe Bryant passing away after a helicopter crash. With the NBA mourning, Damian Lillard decided to play in honor of the black mamba’s competitive spirit.
Flashback to 2013 when a rookie Damian Lillard was going toe-to-toe with Kobe at the height of his powers. Bryant got the W and was the lead scorer with 47, but Dame almost matched him point for point with 38. After that game, Bryant put Dame on the map by complimenting the then rookie:
“I just told him he was a bad boy. He was out there cooking with gasoline tonight. He was fantastic.”
Flash forward to 2020 and Dame is now a vet. Lillard scored with crazy efficience, sinking and-1 layups and three-point swishes. All this while playing the floor general with 13 assists including a sweet behind-the-back pass to Blazers teammate Hassan Whiteside. Portland led for most of the game on the back of Lillard’s 50-piece. All in honor of who Damian calls “the best player (he) ever played against.”
The sneakers Lillard wore for this mamba moment was the adidas Dame 6. This utilizes Lightstrike cushioning, which aims to provide the best combination of step-in comfort and lightweight cushioning on the market.
Damian wore the “Dame Time” white and scarlet red colorway throughout this game.
Cover image via The Sentinel-Record