Cool, Dad!

Watch Damian Lillard's Important Blazers Speech Get Adorably Crashed By His Kids

The NBA superstar wanted to share a moment with his family, and they ended up stealing the show.

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Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers gets a hug from his son Damian Jr. before the start ...
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It’s not surprising that Damian Lillard wanted his entire family present when the Portland Trailblazers held a post-game celebration recognizing his new title as the Blazers’ all-time leading scorer. As a player, he’s always been open about how important family is to him and how he was able to take his parenting game to a whole new level last season while recovering from an abdominal injury. So the moment wouldn’t be complete without his kids alongside him to accept the award.

“Moments like this is something that I need to be better about. I’m always trying to move on to the next thing. But when I really sit back and take a look at this accomplishment, I’m just reminded of all the people who took part in this journey,” Lillard said.

And although most people will never know what it feels like to play in an NBA game — let alone score over 18,000 points as Lillard has over his 10-season career — any parent watching Lillard trying to wrangle his kids while addressing thousands of fans at the ceremony in his honor will relate at least a little bit to his life.

To their credit, Lillard’s three kids — Damian Jr., 4, and twins Kali and Kalii, who will turn 2 in January — weren’t misbehaving. Staying awake without melting down even though the game ended way past their bedtime is no small feat. But much to the crowd’s delight, they were certainly acting their age.

In his dad’s arms, Kalii was intent on getting ahold of the microphone his dad was speaking into, but Lillard stifled his son’s efforts with the shiftiness he usually reserves for blowing by defenders. Kali had better luck at Lillard’s feet as he attempted to distract his daughter with a secondary mic that she managed to turn on and speak into before a sound technician muted it from the board.

All the while, Damian Jr. was making good use of streamers that had fallen from the rafters just minutes before, twirling them around the podium as his dad attempted to give his big speech.

Known for keeping his cool on the court, Lillard managed to do so as a parent and rolled with everything his kids threw at him. Though the kids won’t remember all of the people their dad thanked or the pearls of wisdom he passed on, they certainly helped make the moment more memorable for his fans simply by being themselves.

Reflecting on his professional journey, Lillard said he knows that there can be long-term benefits to keeping his kids close even while he fulfills the numerous obligations of being a professional athlete. As much as he’s accomplished, he knows he hasn’t done it on his own and that family support along the way helped make everything possible.

“I have to give a lot of credit to my family. We always talk about how hard we have to work and how hard it is to make it to this level, but I don’t think it’s possible for me to reach the level that I’ve reached without the type of guidance I’ve had…everyone I grew up with has had a part of making me and molding me.”

It’s all a good reminder that professional excellence and commitment to family aren’t mutually exclusive, though balancing the two does require parents to develop the skill of remaining calm when kids are squeezing them with the full-court press.

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