Damian Lillard has become the first athlete to have a location named after him at Adidas’ North America campus in Portland.
Adidas surprised Lillard Tuesday with a basketball court dedication ceremony during his visit to the headquarters. The Damian Lillard Court anchors him further to the city where he’d played for the Trailblazers since 2012 until a blockbuster trade last summer sent him to the Milwaukee Bucks.
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Lillard is in town for a Wednesday night game against the Trailblazers, his first time returning as an opponent since the trade. He’s also been an Adidas athlete since 2012, with his signature sneaker line beginning in 2015 and having been updated most recently with the Adidas Dame 8 ExtPly in August.
Adidas making Lillard the first athlete with a location named after him is far cry from Nike, which has historically named spots at its Beaverton headquarters after star athletes and coaches including Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Serena Williams and Mike Krzyzewski.
“This is a gesture that I’m moved by,” Lillard said during the ceremony. “I feel the respect. I feel the love and appreciation for not just what I’ve been able to do in my career, but how I’ve been able to handle it as a partner and a person.”
A tribute video shown during the ceremony showed highlights from throughout his career as well as clips showing his involvement in the community.
About the Author:
Ian Servantes is a Senior Trending News Editor for Footwear News specializing in sneaker coverage. He’s previously reported on streetwear and sneakers at Input and Highsnobiety after beginning his career on the pop culture beat. He subscribes to the idea that “ball is life” and doesn’t fuss over his kicks getting dirty.
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