Damian Lillard Told Mom to Quit Her Job After Signing First NBA Contract

  • Damian Lillard mentioned he in an instant instructed his mother to surrender her task when he signed his $13 million rookie deal.
  • Lillard went to her task and helped her pack her table.
  • Lillard now has $191 million in profession profits and has created “generational wealth” to improve his circle of relatives.

As quickly as he may just, Damian Lillard instructed his mother to surrender her task.

Speaking with ESPN’s Marc J. Spears on “Andscape,” Lillard mentioned that after he signed his first NBA contract in 2012 — a four-year, $13.8 million rookie deal — he went to his mother’s task to lend a hand her surrender.

“First thing I did, all right, I’m a millionaire now so I went to my mom’s job and was like, ‘Quit,'” Lillard instructed Spears. “I literally went and helped her pack up her desk, everything. ‘They ain’t been doing you right. They’ve been on your ass about every little thing. We ain’t coming back.’ So that was kind of just my initial thought.”

Lillard did not specify what his mother, Gina Johnson, did for a residing. However, he mentioned that throughout his senior yr at Weber State, she used to be “struggling” and residing in an rental along with her sister in San Leandro, California. Lillard mentioned he would take a look at to select her up throughout telephone conversations through telling her that he used to be going to get drafted quickly.

“We would talk on the phone at least every other day. And she’d be telling me how she had been feeling sick. They were on her about her production. They were basically threatening to fire her,” he recalled. “She was stressed out and struggling at work with her health. And I was just constantly telling her things like, ‘The [Boston] Celtics were at practice today. The [Utah] Jazz was at practice today.’ I was just trying to pick up her spirits.”

Lillard used to be drafted 6th general through the Portland Trail Blazers. Once he signed his contract, he went to his mother’s paintings to lend a hand her surrender.

“When I finally got drafted and everything was pretty much set, I came home, and we literally went to her job in San Ramon. We walked in, and everybody was aware that I just got drafted … I was like, ‘We quit! We quit!'”

Damian Lillard smiles while sitting at a podium on draft night in 2012.

Damian Lillard on draft night time in 2012.

Ray Amati/NBAE by the use of Getty Images


In an interview with “Court-Side Moms” in 2020, Johnson mentioned that she and far of her circle of relatives had relocated to Portland with Lillard from California.

Lillard has spoken ceaselessly of his upbringing in a violent group in Oakland. He instructed ESPN in 2010, whilst he used to be nonetheless at Weber State, that he selected to cross to the Utah-based college, partially, to get out of Oakland.

Now, as Lillard instructed Spears, he has constructed up “generational wealth” to improve his circle of relatives for years to come.

Lillard is in the middle of a four-year, $176 million contract. This low season he signed a two-year, $122 million extension with the Blazers, the richest in NBA historical past.

Lillard has already made $191 million in profession profits, and if he finishes his extension, he’s going to have made part a thousand million within the NBA.

“I put the time in and the work in and I do stuff the right way with the right intentions,” Lillard instructed Spears. “And I put my family in a position to where my kids don’t have to have the pressure of me trying to force them to be a great basketball player or trying to force them to be some great athlete.

“I do what I achieve this they have got the posh of no matter it’s you wish to have to do, be ok with it, be pleased with it … And then their youngsters may have that very same luxurious simply founded off of ways I raise the place I’m now. So, I will be able to create that form of impact, no longer only for my youngsters, however for his or her youngsters and their cousins and my brother’s youngsters. “

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