‘I’m Not Out Here Flopping’: Blazers’ Damian Lillard Frustrated By No-Foul Calls in NBA Loss to Wizards

Published 02/21/2021, 11:33 AM EST
DENVER, CO – MAY 7: Damian Lillard (0) of the Portland Trail Blazers shows signs of frustration against the Denver Nuggets during the third quarter on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. The Denver Nuggets versus the Portland Trail Blazers in game five of the teams’ second round NBA playoff series at the Pepsi Center in Denver. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)


It was all going so smoothly for Portland Trail Blazers and Damian Lillard. Not only were they on a six-game winning streak, but their superstar was getting some well-deserved recognition of late. However, that bubble was slightly burst in their 111-118 loss to Washington Wizards.

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But the outcome of the game could have been so different, had the official not denied him a late foul call. With the game still in the balance at 107-114 late in the fourth quarter, Dame made a move to push the ball up the court.

However, Bradley Beal got in his way and forced a turnover even though it frankly looked like a clear foul. Watch for yourself below –

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This is just one of the many occurrences. He is not being given as many calls in his favor as the other top guards in the NBA. This agitates him to some extent –

“I’m going to the rim getting smacked in the head. I’m getting grabbed. Getting slapped on the arms. Getting pushed in the back. I mean, that’s the frustrating thing for me. I’m not out here flopping and trying to trick the referees or things like that; I’m trying to score and getting hit in the head.”

Feb 2, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) dribbles as Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija (9) defends during the first quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The justifications from officials don’t impress Damian Lillard either

To make matters worse, he can’t remonstrate with the referees in a proper manner either. They come up with lame excuses to cover up their faults. For the Bradley Beal incident above, the official gave a rather hideous reply.

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“‘I didn’t see that’ was literally the answer. I stole the ball, and he ran into my back, I didn’t see that? C’mon, man. To me, that’s a slick comment when that’s your response. ‘I didn’t see that,’ when the whole arena saw that. So, it’s just those moments that’s frustrating when it comes to physicality,” said Lillard.

Jan 11, 2021; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard (0) shoots the ball past Toronto Raptors power forward Chris Boucher (25) during the first half at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

It could well be that the league fines the Portland Trail Blazers‘ superstar for his comments. But he shouldn’t be the only one held responsible for his actions. The officials should also face the same standard of measurement and be accountable for their errors.

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Bharat Aggarwal

707 articles

Bharat Aggarwal is a sports analyst for EssentiallySports, covering Formula 1 and NBA. A Delhi University graduate, Bharat has multi-year experience in sports writing, having closely worked with the content strategy aspect as well. Bharat Aggarwal supports Manchester United, Lewis Hamilton, Cristiano Ronaldo, Rafael Nadal, Dirk Nowitzki, Sachin Tendulkar, Ayrton Senna, Kristaps Porzingis, and Dallas Mavericks.

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