Well, this sucks.
With less than four minutes to go before the All-Star break, Damian Lillard drove the lane against the Memphis Grizzlies, landed and clearly was in instant pain, grabbing his groin. He soon fouled to stop play and went straight to the locker room.
He suffered a strained groin, with an MRI coming tomorrow.
Lillard said that will take him out of the All-Star Game on Sunday, where he was a reserve on Team LeBron, and he is out of the three-point contest.
Lillard (right groin) says he knew when he pulled it and he also said he will not be participating in the All-Star game or 3-pt contest
— Jamie Hudson (@JamieHudsonNBCS) February 13, 2020
Yahoo Sources: Damian Lillard didn’t hear a pop when he injured his groin, which is a great sign. He’ll spend All-Star Weekend recovering in preparation for a second-half playoff push.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 13, 2020
Lillard will still be in Chicago for the All-Star Game, he is performing as Dame D.O.L.L.A. during the All-Star Saturday Night events. He’s just not shooting threes that night now.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver gets to pick who replaces Lillard in the All-Star Game (and 3-point contest). Traditionally he has selected the next highest player in the coach’s All-Star reserve voting (we do not know who that is, the coaches votes are not public).
Lillard said he hopes it is someone deserving and mentioned the Suns’ Devin Booker by name.
It’s unclear how much time, if any, Lillard will miss after the break. Portland is now off for more than a week, until next Friday. The Trail Blazers can’t afford to be without its leading scorer and All-Star for long, the Blazers are four games back of Memphis for the final playoff spot in the West (and the Grizzlies are playing well, they will be tough to catch even if the Blazers are healthy).