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February 16, 2019

Damian Lillard

Charlotte, North Carolina

Q. On the possibility of not using conference affiliation when selecting All-Stars:
DAMIAN LILLARD: I don't think many people will be mad at that just because of how hard it is to make it it in the Western Conference. But you can't take anything away from the guys who made it out of the East. I think, because it's been that way for so long, I don't really see it changing.

Q. How's the rap career going? Are you coming out with any more heat for the streets, music-wise?
DAMIAN LILLARD: I'm thinking about it. I haven't put out anything for the last year and a half. This summer, I'm coming out for sure.

Q. Think back to a time when you first came here, does it seem surreal?
DAMIAN LILLARD: I think every time I come, I'm like, man, if I'd have made it one time, I'd be like I made the All-Star Game. So to be here for a fourth time, a lot of guys don't get the opportunity at all. You always get here and realize how special it is. It kind of puts things into perspective. You know, I'm just honored and thankful to be here again.

Q. What does it takes for a guy who is so, so big, so tall, to get to be so successful like you?
DAMIAN LILLARD: For me? I think right now the NBA is a guard's game. As long as you train and you do all the stuff to prepare yourself, we're going to be have plenty of opportunity because we've got the ball in our hands all the time. A lot of stuff is run through us. I think part of that is the opportunity and then just preparing yourself -- training, taking care of yourself, just being in good shape, having your mind in the right space, and you'll be all right after that. I think that plays a huge part for me.

Q. What do you think is your biggest challenge?
DAMIAN LILLARD: The biggest challenge? I think the biggest challenge, for me, in my opinion, just a lot of us come from similar backgrounds -- tough neighborhoods, poverty, some of us single-parent homes -- and then we're kind of thrust into being famous, public figures, making a lot of money. I think it's a huge challenge dealing with family members and friends and people who kind of put the pressure of their lives on us. So we got to juggle our professional lives, our personal lives, and then other people's lives. So I think that's a huge challenge.

Then also doing what we want to do for our career and for ourselves personally and then also representing the black community because you don't want to separate yourself from that, because that's what you ultimately represent. So you don't want to have all these issues that your people have got to deal with, but you don't want it to affect your personal or individual success or your individual stance or where you are in your life, but you've got to figure it out.

So I think it's a challenge just making sure that we represent our people the right way and not getting too caught up in ourselves, but also understanding that you're not going to always be able to be perfect or do what everybody wants you to do. That goes for your family, too.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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