Damian Lillard Skips NBA Awards to Hand Out a Truckload of Free Sneakers to Kids

It seems Damian Lillard had more important things to do last night than attend the NBA Awards in Santa Monica, Calif.

The Portland Trail Blazers point guard skipped the annual basketball event and instead stayed home in Portland to surprise a few lucky young fans. Midway through the awards broadcast, Lillard posted a message on Twitter and Instagram calling for “all kids of Portland” to meet him at the city’s Irving Park at 8 p.m. PT for a free sneaker giveaway.

Not surprisingly, scores of fans dropped everything and made a beeline for the park, where Lillard — who has a signature shoe line with Adidas — soon rolled in behind the wheel of a U-Haul truck and began handing out kicks just as he promised. When the shoes ran out, Lillard did the next best thing: sign autographs.

Lillard, who last season averaged nearly 27 points per game while guiding Portland to the Northwest Division title, had been in the running for the NBA’s MVP award but finished fourth in the voting. Only the top three vote getters — James Harden, LeBron James and Anthony Davis — were named finalists. Harden, who plays for the Houston Rockets, ultimately took home the big trophy last night.

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