Immediately following an exhilarating road victory in New Orleans, Portland Trail Blazers superstar point guard Damian Lillard boarded a private flight home to receive an extended meditation on the tenuous value of human life.
Team officials made allowance for Lillard to travel home and miss the next road game against the Memphis Grizzlies to witness the birth of his first child, Damian Jr., after a Caesarian section that followed 46 hours of labor.
That same day, however, Lillard received news that his half-brother, Jahrell, had been shot five times in an altercation outside a mall in a southeastern Portland suburb.
It was an emotional whirlwind for the notably stoic Lillard. “I think the highs and lows, my son coming out and holding him, then having to deal with a tragedy in the middle was unfortunate.” Lillard said.
Around 9 p.m. that evening, witnesses reported hearing multiple shots and seeing two men flee the parking lot of Clackamas Town Center, a popular mall. Jahrell Lillard was later found wounded on the floor of a Macy’s Home Store. Clackamas County law enforcement officers believe the younger Lillard was targeted because of his connection to the NBA superstar.
Riches and fame cannot insulate people from family drama, neither can good deeds. Tomorrow is not promised, so we must make every day count.