If you are well-versed in the Twittersphere you know that Dallas Mavericks bloggers and NBA people alike refer to Mavs’ guard Monta Ellis as “Mr. Have It All.” This title is clearly being challenged by Portland Trail Blazers’ second-year point guard Damian Lillard.
Sam Amick, of USA Today, was the first to break the news that Damian Lillard had indeed resigned his shoe deal with Adidas:
The Blazers’ Damian Lillard and Adidas got his new shoe deal done, I’m told. Announcement expected soon.
— Sam Amick (@sam_amick) April 14, 2014
Not only was it announced, but it was announced that Lillard is now third in line regarding lucrative shoe deals behind only Derrick Rose (reportedly a 13 year, $185 million deal) and LeBron James, who makes $20 million a year with Nike. The actual terms were not available but the fact that he will have the third-highest shoe deal in the NBA just adds to Lillard’s banner year.
Just a month and a half ago it was announced that Lillard would opt-out of his original shoe deal with Adidas (being named Rookie of the Year and earning an All-Star appearance allowed this) and become a “shoe free agent” this offseason. It was believed that Nike, along with Jordan brand, would have the biggest push to sign Lillard, but this news obviously changes those plans. Lillard will be with Adidas for at least the next eight seasons and per the Amick report there will be incentives that could allow the deal to reach 10 years.
Last year Damian had a wire-to-wire Rookie of the Year campaign where the award was really never in question (due mostly to Anthony Davis being out with multiple injuries). Although the Blazers didn’t have much success last season going only 33-49, Dame put the league on notice as the next legitimate point guard star.
While some players struggle with a sophomore slump, Lillard has only built on his first year success. He was selected to his first NBA All-Star team and as if that wasn’t enough he competed in every event during All-Star Weekend as well (the first player in history to do so).
On top of the personal success, Lillard has meshed with his co-star LaMarcus Aldridge beautifully this season and has helped lead the Blazers to their current record of 53-28. They currently stand fifth in the Western Conference and will play the Houston Rockets in Lillard’s first playoff series of his career. There is still an outside chance that the Blazers will nab that fourth seed and get home court advantage for the first round (Portland would have to win their last game AND have the Rockets lose their last two games).
The playoffs are certainly where players “earn their money,” but it seems that Lillard has already done that, so he will have to simply continue with the theme and start with helping the Blazers win a playoff series — something they have not done since 2000! If Lillard can help Portland make a deep playoff run, then he may just have it all.