Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

NBA Superstar Avoids Bragging, Lets Game Do the Talking

In the 2019 NBA Playoffs, the opening round series between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Oklahoma City Thunder was often framed as a showdown between the two starting point guards. Before the series started, most NBA pundits predicted that the Thunder, led by 2016-2017’s Most Valuable Player Russell Westbrook, would prevail. Westbrook, an incessant trash-talker, had beaten the Blazers four times during the regular season, and was expected to be the dominant talent in the series.

But Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard had something to say about that. Or, rather, he let his game do the talking. After the Trail Blazers won the first two games in Portland, they were beaten in Game 3 in Oklahoma City. This was a game that featured an unusual amount of taunting, not only from Russell Westbrook but also from other Thunder players, including fellow all-star Paul George, who exuberantly dunked the ball as time expired even though the contest had long since been decided.

But Game 3 was the Thunder’s only win. Lillard eventually lead the Blazers to win the series in five games, emphatically punctuating the series with a fifty-point performance that culminated in a 37-foot walk-off three point shot as time expired.

Afterwards, Lillard explained the meaning of the wave motion he made after sinking the winning shot: “The series was over. That was it … After Game 3 … they was out there doing all these celebrations and doing all this stuff. After one win. We (were) like, ‘Okay what we want to do is win four games. When we win those four games, there’s not going to be nothing to talk about.’”

Potential Preaching Angles: Being confident in God's ability gives us the luxury of not being rattled by the threats and boasts of our enemies. God's people are often seen as peculiar compared to the world, especially in our ability to avoid lashing out.

Bruno Manrique, “Blazers’ Damian Lillard explains why he didn’t engage in trash talk with Thunder,” ClutchPoints.Com (4-24-19)

Related Sermon Illustrations

Fear Narrows the Circle of Our Lives

In 1975, Roger Hart conducted a study on where children felt safe to play. He focused on 86 children between the ages of three to twelve in a small town in Vermont. Hart would follow ...

[Read More]

Police Respond to Burglar Call, Find Roomba Instead

In horror movies, the monster is scariest before you actually see it. For one local woman, that principle extended into the interior of her home. Washington County Sherriff’s ...

[Read More]