Point guards typically hold the thinker card in the league, orchestrating the offense and steering a team’s play. In classic point guard form, Portland Trail Blazer Damian Lillard has proven he has intelligence on the court, but his off-season activities likewise show his savvy and potential leadership abilities. Lillard’s most visible hobby this off-season has been his 4 bar friday project, viewable via Instagram, Twitter, and 4barfriday.com.
Every Friday, Lillard asks participants to compose lines of hip-hop rhyme and post it on Instagram. The point guard posts his favorites on 4barfriday.com. The description from the website is as follows: “4 bar friday is a weekly instagram based | Freestyle competition. Every friday, you give us | Your
best bars in 15 seconds or less, and we’ll hand | Pick the best 4 to be featured right here on the site.”
While ballers and hip-hop go together like Jay Z and Beyonce, Lillard’s project shows initiative beyond just having an interest or talent in the genre. It is inclusive, reaching out to any fan with an Instagram account. It is connective, enabling him to share an interest that sometimes involves
personal revelations. A recent composition by Lillard offered insight into his Oakland roots:
“I done seen the darkest nights and all they see is my success | The town heart pumping, getting weaker by the breaths | Seen what I ‘da seen they probably leap out of the chest | Had to make it ‘fore
my momma caught a seizure by the stress.”
Appreciation of a well-paid athlete’s humble beginnings may yield fan sympathy. And, given news of Blazers’ pre-season injuries, including shooting guard C.J. McCullom’s foot fracture, this year may
very well call for sympathy.
Lillard’s project has included fellow NBA players like Paul George, C.J. McCullom and Iman Shumpert. Rap stylings merited albums for ballers-turned-musicians Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Francis, or Allen Iverson. While we still await a Lillard LP, we certainly gain insight into this multi-faceted asset to the Blazers’ roster through this project.