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Damian Lillard was unconscious on Sunday night against the Houston Rockets. The Portland Trailblazers’ superstar erupted for 71 points including 13 three-pointers in his team’s 131-114 win, and the NBA was a little suspicious following his huge night.
Speaking with the media after the game, Lillard explained that he was drug tested immediately after the game. He said that it was the first time in his career he had been drug tested after a game. Not only that, but he took a urine drug test just one day prior.
Lillard, who has a fear of needles, wasn’t too happy about the situation.
“I was like, ‘Y’all serious?’ Like, I did the urine test yesterday and then they backed it up with the blood draw tonight after the game,” Lillard explained. “It was actually the first time in my career being tested after a game. And then aside from that, they know that I’m scared of needles. I know I’ve got a lot of tattoos, but when you’re doing a blood draw, it’s different from tattoos.”
The NBA asking its best players to undergo these ‘random’ drug tests is nothing new.
Earlier this season, Memphis Grizzlies point guard Ja Morant returned from an ankle injury much faster than anticipated. While he joked about being a cyborg at the time, he shared that the league asked him to take a drug test as he made his return to the court.
“A cyborg, I’m just a unique dude, man,” Morant said in November. “I don’t think I’m human. I got to do some lab testing or something to see what is really behind it. The league is doing the same. I have a drug test right after this.”
The NBA is clearly beyond the point of caring what fans think when they hear of these drug tests after big-time performances. The league knows players are going to complain about them, but at the end of the day a couple of drug tests per year while making millions of dollars isn’t too wild of a sacrifice to make.