Before the NBA abruptly shut down on March 11 due to the coronavirus outbreak that had made its way to the United States, Damian Lillard was in the midst of the best of his eight seasons as a pro. And now with the season set to resume on July 31, Lillard is hoping to pick up where he left off—and has been sharing videos to his Instagram account to let all of the NBA fans out there know that he’s keeping busy and to not expect rust of any kind.
As Lilllard gears up for the return of the NBA season—scheduled to begin again in an entirely-self contained bubble in Orlando’s Walt Disney World Resort on July 30—he appears to be putting in work just to keep himself active and stay in shape.
In a video shared for his nearly 8 million Instagram followers, Lillard performs cable biceps curls on a Technogym cable machine. As Men’s Health Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. notes, Lillard isn’t using much resistance, instead opting for quantity and getting a strong pump in. “It’s not often you see basketball players doing curls, because there’s little functional carryover to the sport,” Samuel says. “So this is obviously less a prep-for-the-season session and more a pump session for Dame.”
Lillard captioned his post with a reference to the fact that not only is he one of the NBA’s modern-day greats, but he also has a hip-hop career going. “Hoop in my right hand and Rap in my left. #GoodmorningToYou,” he wrote. His latest album, Big D.O.L.L.A. was released last summer.
Prior to the league’s shutdown, Lillard’s Trail Blazers held only a 29-37 record, but that was still good enough to currently be the 9th seed in the Western Conference; only 3.5 games out of a playoff spot. The 29-year-old point guard was averaging 28.9 points and 7.8 assists per game (both career-highs) while tying his highest 3-point percentage ever at 39.4%.
A day earlier, Lillard posted a series of 10 videos to his Instagram, also showing his fitness progress as he prepares to return to NBA action.
“Stay ready and you won’t have to get ready. If I come up short EVER… whether I was prepared or not won’t be the reason. 💯@cemcondition83 best in the world,” he wrote, tagging his strength and conditioning coach, Cem Eren.
Lillard will look to keep his great season going for the Blazers’ first game back, when they will face off with the Memphis Grizzlies at 4:00 p.m. EST on July 31.
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