Lillard slated for busy All-Star weekend

Blazers guard participating in all five events

By Erik Gundersen, Columbian Trail Blazers Writer



It’s official as of Thursday evening that Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers will become the first NBA player in history to compete in five events during All-Star weekend.

“I’m excited to represent the Trail Blazers in the Rising Stars Challenge and my first NBA All-Star Game,” said Lillard in a release from the league. “It’s also an honor to be the first player to participate in three events at All-Star Saturday Night.”

Portland’s point guard was selected to his first All-Star Game last week.

Lillard was selected to Grant Hill’s team for the Rising Stars challenge, fulfilling his duty as a second year player. He was also scheduled to defend his Skills Challenge title.

On Wednesday there were reports that Lillard had accepted an invitation to compete in the Slam Dunk contest.

He will compete with two other All-Stars in Indiana’s Paul George and Washington’s John Wall as well as defending champion, Jefferson High School alum Terrence Ross of the Toronto Raptors.

In the previous four All-Star Saturday’s, the Slam Dunk Contest has included a total of two current All-Stars: Gerald Wallace in 2010 and Blake Griffin in 2011.

2014’s line-up includes three current All-Stars as well as Ross who scored 51 points in a game on Jan. 26.

Lillard will have an opportunity to make even more history at All-Star weekend than just competing in the events. No Blazer player has ever won the Three-Point Contest or the Slam Dunk contest.

Lillard is the fifth Blazer to compete in the Three-Point Contest, joining Kiki Vandeweghe, Clyde Drexler, Terry Porter and Cliff Robinson.

The 2013 Rookie of The Year will also be the fifth Trail Blazer in the dunk contest along with Drexler, Jerome Kersey, James Robinson and most recently Rudy Fernandez.