You know Damian Lillard as the star of the Portland Trail Blazers -- but did you know about his 50,000 follower-strong SoundCloud account and #4BarFriday initiative (which has inspired everyone from Draymond Green to LeBron James to share their own rhymes)? You know Christine Michael as one of the running backs who helped keep the Seahawks Seahawks in the playoffs after Marshawn Lynch was sidelined in the middle of the 2015 season -- but did you know during the last offseason, he dropped a 10-track mixtape?
On this episode of Ballin' Out, we talk to both these pros about their off-field musical pursuits, including Dame's recent sold-out live debut at Portland's Crystal Ballroom (on his birthday, no less!) and a behind-the-scenes look at how Christine put together his mixtape. "I never have birthday parties, so that was just something different," says Lillard of the decision to take his rhymes to the people. "When you're on the court, you say more with your actions ... but when you're on stage, it's the opposite. I can get up there and say stuff to hype up the crowd -- control the mood. Say my bars and make them feel me, instead of having to run up and down the court and cross somebody over." His success onstage could easily translate to bigger things -- Lillard says, "Labels have been reaching out for a while -- but I don't want to sign with a label."