The Trail Blazers visit Oakland on Friday not only as one of the NBA’s surprise teams this season but with one of the league’s top rookies helping lead the way.
That rookie, Damian Lillard, also happens to be making a homecoming to the city in which he grew up, adding another interesting wrinkle to this already intriguing match-up between two teams whose fortunes have changed for the better this season.
Lillard played his high school ball at Oakland High and earned all-league honors his junior and senior seasons. (He spent his first two years at St. Joe’s in Alameda.) The 6-foot-3 point guard went on to star in college for Utah’s Weber State, where he averaged 18.6 points during his career and was named the Big Sky player of the year twice and a third-team All-American in 2012. Lillard averaged 24.5 points in his redshirt junior season, his final season in Ogden, and led the nation in scoring at one time.
“He’s never out of his comfort zone,” [LeBron] James told reporters on Wednes...