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NBA Bubble Wrap: The Snitching Begins, and How Damian Lillard Celebrated His Birthday

Happy 30th, Damian. Strange circumstances.
Happy 30th, Damian. Strange circumstances.
Photo: Twitter

As with every waking day this pandemic continues, so does the physical aging of our bodies.

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Life continues, even if players are trapped in a figurative contraption to play basketball for a few months, and it seems for Damian Lillard life has most certainly continued with a level of normalcy.

Lillard, who is in Orlando, Florida, with his Portland Trailblazer teammates and other NBA teams, decided to throw himself a birthday party Wednesday for the big 3-0.

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In the video, many maskless players and league personnel gathered around conference room style tables to sing Happy Birthday to Lillard.

Lillard is heard on video saying, “I appreciate y’all helping me get something done, having a good time. My only ask as a birthday gift is let’s not waste our fucking time out here!”

He then turns around to do something not advised right now — blowing out candles on a basketball inspired tier birthday cake. NBA players, however, are being tested every few days. Portland is currently the ninth seed and will have to win the preceding eight games when the restart begins in order to contend for the West’s No. 8 playoff seed.

The next day Lillard dropped a much anticipated single, “Home Team,” featuring The Homie Dreebo, an LA-based rapper and entrepreneur.

Lillard said of the track:

“‘Home Team’ is one of my favorite songs that I wrote. It’s just about my family. That’s what I’m most invested in right now, it’s not creating the fortune for myself to have to take care of people, it’s holding my family accountable to figure out what it is that they want to do, what type of career they want to have.” What they want to do, so I can sponsor that and try to help them move into a better direction of what they want to do.”

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In the song’s music video, Lillard explained that the individuals shown as his “home team” are close family and friends who he grew up with and have gone on to earn their college degree and start their own businesses.

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“I feel like it’s important to show that,” Lillard said.

Lillard has somewhat grasped the bull by its horns in a second career — rapping — that first was assumed to be a hobby. During the height of athletes entering the hip-hop sphere, i.e. Iman Shumpert and La’Veon Bell, in late 2015.

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Lillard has released at least three albums over that time: The Letter O, Confirmed, and Big D.O. L. L. A.

He has already released a single during the NBA’s hiatus, called Blacklist, in response to nationwide unrest and featuring his views on attacking the structure of white supremacy.

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In addition to solo work, he has started a 4BarFriday series, which is now a weekly live cipher for anyone up for the challenge on his Instagram Live.

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Before the NBA season was deferred, because of his consistency as an artist in the music space, the league admitted him to perform at All-Star Saturday Night in February.

In other NBA bubble news:

Patrick Beverley wasn’t the only player to hoard an excessive amount of clothing in Orlando. Beverley piled up on the white T-shirts and Houston Rockets Forward P.J. Tucker, who is one of the most well known sneakerheads in the NBA, brought 80 pairs of shoes to Florida.

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He jokingly stated earlier this week that he has purchased more pairs of shoes during the pandemic than at any other time.

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And the snitching has begun in the bubble. Dwight Howard spoke to fans on his Instagram Live earlier this week about being reported to the NBA Campus Hotline. He did not say reveal any punishment he’d received from the league, but previous social distance violators Richaun Holmees and Bruno Caboclo were thrown back into a 10-day quarantine.

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