Damian Lillard told his mother to quit his job after signing his first NBA contract

By | September 21, 2022

  • Damian Lillard mentioned he instantly informed his mom to give up her job when he signed his $13 million rookie contract.
  • Lillard went to her work and helped her pack up her desk.
  • Lillard now has $191 million in profession earnings and has created “generational wealth” to help his household.

As quickly as he might, Damian Lillard informed his mom to give up her job.

Talking to ESPN’s Marc J. Spears on “Andscape,” Lillard mentioned when he signed his first NBA contract in 2012 – a four-year, $13.8 million rookie deal – he had gone to his mom’s job to assist her give up.

“The very first thing I did, okay, I am a millionaire now, so I went to my mother’s job and I used to be like, ‘Cease it,'” Lillard informed Spears. “I actually went to assist him tidy up his workplace, all the pieces. ‘They did not do you proper. They put you in your ass about each little factor. We’re not coming again.’ In order that was sort of my first thought.”

Lillard didn’t specify what his mom, Gina Johnson, does for a dwelling. Nevertheless, he mentioned that in her senior yr at Weber State, she was “struggling” and dwelling in an condo together with her sister in San Leandro, Calif. Lillard mentioned he would attempt to choose her up through the cellphone conversations telling her he was going to be drafted quickly.

“We’d speak on the cellphone at the very least each different day. And he or she would inform me how sick she felt. They have been on her about her manufacturing. They have been mainly threatening to fireside her,” he recalled. “She was careworn and struggling at work together with her well being. And I used to be always telling her issues like, ‘The [Boston] The Celtics have been in apply at this time. The [Utah] Jazz was in apply at this time. I used to be simply making an attempt to cheer him up.”

Lillard was drafted sixth general by the Portland Path Blazers. As soon as he signed his contract, he went to his mom’s job to assist her give up.

“After I lastly acquired drafted and all the pieces was just about settled, I got here dwelling and we actually went to his job in San Ramon. We walked in and everybody knew I used to be simply drafted. … I used to be like, ‘We give up! We are going to give up!'”

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

Damian Lillard on draft night time in 2012.

Ray Amati/NBAE by way of Getty Photos


In a 2020 interview with “Court docket-Aspect Mothers,” Johnson mentioned she and far of her household moved to Portland with Lillard from California.

Lillard has typically spoken of his upbringing in a violent neighborhood of Oakland. He informed ESPN in 2010, whereas nonetheless at Weber State, that he selected to go to the Utah-based faculty, partially, to get out of Oakland.

Now, as Lillard informed Spears, he is collected “generational wealth” to help his household for years to return.

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

Lillard has already earned $191 million in his profession, and if he completes additional time, he may have earned half a billion within the NBA.

“I put time and work into it and do it the best method with the best intentions,” Lillard informed Spears. “And I’ve put my household able the place my youngsters do not should be pressured by me making an attempt to power them to be an important basketball participant or to be an important athlete.

“I do what I achieve this they’ve the luxurious of no matter you need to do, be comfy with it, be pleased with it…After which their youngsters may have the identical luxurious simply based mostly on how I put on the place I’m now. So I can create that sort of impact, not only for my youngsters, however for his or her youngsters and their cousins ​​and my brother’s youngsters.”