Dime: Also, with C.J. McCollum, not to many people realize that you and him were a little familiar with each other before he joined Portland. Talk about your relationship with him and how you guys can feed off each other this upcoming season.
DL: We’ve been cool for about a little over a year now. He was just asking me for advice on how I was able to get to the NBA and be a lottery pick when I came from Weber State and I was a four-year player and I got hurt. Because he broke the same bone that I broke, same injury and everything. So he was asking me for advice on the rehab and what I did to get my foot healed and stronger again. I mean we we’re talking a lot and as far as us playing together, I think he can score the ball so guys won’t be able to show me as much attention when we’re on the floor at the same time. And he can really knock down shots — he can make shots. So he can stretch the floor out and that will leave more space to make things happen.
Dime: So now that you’ve endured the full 82-game season of the NBA grind, what are your expectations for this season?
DL: I think we should be a playoff team. Last year we had a chance to be a playoff team and they (most people) thought it was a rebuilding year for us, which it could of been considered. We definitely overachieved based on what other people thought. And the excuse or the cop out I guess was the fact that our starters played a lot of minutes. The bench didn’t really produce. But now there’s no excuse. We got a deep bench. We got guys that can come in and help us so there’s no reason that we shouldn’t be a playoff team.
Dime: As you know, hip-hop and sports are sort of synonymous. Every rapper wants to ball and vice-versa. Are there any guys in the rap game that you try to emulate on the court through their drive and hunger?
DL: J.Cole probably because his rhymes ain’t as loud and he’s not like everybody else but there’s substance behind everything that he says. It’s meaningful and powerful and he’s got a presence about him on every track, but it’s like a calm presence and that’s how I am on the court. I get things done but I’m not loud about it. I get it done and I go about my day and it means something to my team. What I bring to the table means something to my team so I’d say him.
Dime: And he’s got a good story too. Have you followed him since his “Dollar & A Dream” days?
DL: Yup, since ’08.
Dime: If you got a quick eight bars then–
DL: I got bars man.
Dime: You got bars for days?
Dime: Alright let’s hear it.
DL: Let me see man. Let me find something appropriate (searches through iPhone). Alright man, you ready bruh?
“I built a reputation on living right with some decency,
cold days got me ready, never been an easy street.
Giving good shit and offering a change of scenery,
self made- boy I operate machinery.
Shinin’ ain’t a thing, I’d rather be a secret,
got a whole lot of bread and still they saying I’m the cheapest.
Wanted to be a millionaire but I ain’t find Regis,
now I’m here to shake the game up and ‘bout to cause seizures.
Hella flight miles and it’s business class only,
the business that I’m in is rich and still it’s mad phony.
Watching out for all the snakes, I’m seeing world class Kobes,
rising to the top and my vert looking like a 40.
Money come with dirt, success come with hurt,
this shit supply and demand, I give a smurk for what it’s worth.
Trips out the country, my passports stamped up,
real dudes with me, when I made it they was amped up.
Really flex my muscle that’s how n****s getting cramped up,
but when the pressure on I come up big, I’m a champ bruh.
Stupid how I shine bright, spring it to the limelight,
and all my bars is what these dudes need like a Klondike.”
Dime: Bars for days! That was more than a cool eight!
DL: That was sixteen for ya! (laughs) A quick sixteen, the least I can do.
What do you think?
Follow Matt on Twitter at @DimeMatt.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.