'I was like freaking out:' Blazers' Lillard gives Tigard teen day to remember
PORTLAND, Ore. - Siros Ardestani really disliked Damian Lillard on Wednesday.
That lasted about an hour.
An unpleasant run-in at the mall with his favorite Portland Trail Blazer turned into the best day of the 15-year-old Ardestani's life when the reigning Rookie of the Year harnessed the power of Twitter to make amends.
"This is probably the biggest highlight of my life," Ardestani said Thursday morning. "I was really happy. I was like freaking out."
Ardestani was hanging out at the mall with some friends when he ran into Lillard - who was also with a friend - at Nordstrom.
Ardestani said even though Lillard looked busy, he asked for a picture and was turned down.
"He was just like 'No man, I'm busy shopping,'" Ardestani said. "Right after he said that, I was mad and sad."
On his way home, Ardestani checked Twitter and saw that Lillard had posted about the incident, saying he regretted it. Ardestani tweeted back, and the two arranged a meeting back at the mall.
The two got their picture, and the story quickly went viral.
Ardestani, who said he failed to make the Tigard High School basketball team last season one day after his uncle died, has long hoped the sport would make him famous one day. Maybe not like this, but still.
"I'm on the front page of Yahoo, Bleacher Report " he said. "That was one of my dreams was to be on the front page of Yahoo."
Here's the timeline, as told through tweets:
It started out when Ardestani and his friends headed to the mall.
@jasmineberthold Me, Nick Gonzalez, Josh Smith, and Chandler are gonna be at the mall tomorrow so if you see us come chill with us!Siros Ardestani (@SArdestani6) July 31, 2013
When they got there, who should they run into but Lillard. Ardestani approached Lillard and asked to take a picture with him. Ardestani's friends were not impressed with the result. One friend weighed in on Twitter and said Lillard said no and walked away. Another saw a little more humor in it.
Damian Liller that sly dog.Cory (@SuperCorCat) August 1, 2013
Here's where things start to get interesting. Lillard said it went a little differently, and immediately felt bad.
A high school kid wanted To take a pic with me ... I said not right now let me finish shopping. I feel bad nowDamian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) August 1, 2013
Ardestani wasn't going to hold a grudge against one of his favorite players.
@Dame_Lillard That was me Damian. Its alright. I can't blame you. I bet its annoying taking a million pictures a day. Maybe next time :)Siros Ardestani (@SArdestani6) August 1, 2013
And that's where the story normally would usually end, right? Nope.
@SArdestani6 told you to wait... My bad , we'll link up.Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) August 1, 2013
Ardestani was impressed with the reaction.
So Damian Lillard followed me and DMed me saying he felt bad... Its all good Damian. Definetely one of my favorite players off and on court.Siros Ardestani (@SArdestani6) August 1, 2013
So are his friends.
Awwwww Damian subtweeted about siros, followed him on twitter and then dm'd him. that's way better than a picture omgj-dog (@jasmineberthold) August 1, 2013
Somewhere around this time, the national media caught on. Here's Bruce Arthur of the National Post.August 1, 2013
And Ardestani was suddenly having himself a heck of a day.
This is one of the best days of my life.Siros Ardestani (@SArdestani6) August 1, 2013
Can't believe my favorite Blazer player followed me, tweeted at me, and DMed me... This made my bad day 100000x better.Siros Ardestani (@SArdestani6) August 1, 2013
The best day of his life was about to get better. He even got to check out Lillard's Porsche Panamera.
Damian Lillard just told me to go meet him up at Bridgeport. On my way dog.Siros Ardestani (@SArdestani6) August 1, 2013
Damians car is so nice. That's my dream car right there.Siros Ardestani (@SArdestani6) August 1, 2013
Damian is a very humble and nice guy. Future MVP and superstar!Siros Ardestani (@SArdestani6) August 1, 2013
And just like that, Ardestani had his picture.August 1, 2013
Jealousy, of course, ensued.August 1, 2013
And Ardestani enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame.
I feel so famous from all of this.. But I will cherish this day for the rest of my life.Siros Ardestani (@SArdestani6) August 1, 2013
Turns out, Ardestani's met a few other Blazers this year.
Damian Lillard was the fifth blazer I met this year. The other Blazers I met were Nicolas Batum, Nolan Smith, JJ Hickson, and Luke Babbitt.Siros Ardestani (@SArdestani6) August 1, 2013
But none was quite as memorable as this one.
Goodnight world. Thanks for such a amazing day!Siros Ardestani (@SArdestani6) August 1, 2013