(via KOIN.com)

There aren’t many players in the league who have as much history together as Russell Westbrook and Damian Lillard. As two of the biggest competitors in the game, their face-offs are always intense, which leads many to believe there is a real rivalry between the two.

In reality, though, there couldn’t be any more respect between the pair. Following their latest meeting, which resulted in a Wizards win, Westbrook spoke to the media about his colleague, lauding his shot-making ability while calling him a “great player.”

“He’s going to take tough shots. He’s going to take tough ones and make tough ones. That’s what great players do.”

(start at 17:05)

Westbrook and the Wizards are on a 4-game losing streak that has them sneaking back up in the East standings.

As for Dame, he’s building a strong case to be the NBA’s MVP this season. Averaging 30 points, 7.9 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game on 44.5% shooting, Lillard has done a marvelous job leading the Blazers, who sit at 5th place in the West.

His ability to hit shots and show up for his team in the clutch is truly unparalleled, and it’s impossible not to respect it.

As for where Dame and Russ go from here, that depends on a number of factors. But, regardless of what happens, you can bet they’ll be doing their best to fight and claw their way to the top.