Thanks to the insistence of team leader Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers players offered up their playoff bonus money for team staffers this year.
As related to us by Jason Quick of CSNNW.com, Lillard has spearheaded this effort the past two postseasons. The day after the Blazers were eliminated from playoff contention by the Golden State Warriors, Lillard convinced every member of his team to give their bonus money to team staffers, instead.
“We divide our playoff shares to give to the people who we work so closely with because they spend as much time away from their families as we do, and they are just about as invested as we are,’’ Lillard said after the season. “They also do as much as possible to make our lives easier, even if it makes theirs more difficult – all while making far less. So it’s a further way of showing appreciation beyond a thank your or a handshake.’’
It’s important to note, this means all Trail Blazers players took part in the playoffs for free. Every player who competes in the postseason relies on this bonus money, because their contracts only cover the regular season.
Each player gave up about $16,000 in this effort to reward the men and women who served them throughout the season. Of course, that number would have been more if Portland had advanced. And while it’s true NBA players aren’t lacking monetary rewards for their efforts, what the Blazers did shouldn’t be dismissed as nothing. It’s definitely something worth lauding.