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Damian Lillard On Russell Westbrook: “If I Had To Say I Had An Arch Nemesis, It Would Probably Be Russ [Westbrook], Because When Me And Russ Play, We Going After Each Other”

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(via Bleacher Report)

(via Bleacher Report)

Damian Lillard is one of the most respected point guards in the NBA. In the playoffs, Damian Lillard has been historically known as a clutch player: some of his shots in crunch time defy the imagination. Usually, for every good player, there's a good rivalry. To be clear, in the modern-day NBA, most NBA rivalries are strictly on-court: the NBA these days is a united front; some would call them a brotherhood. However, players still wake up to compete against other good players: if you are good at basketball, it's natural to want to be the best.

Damian Lillard has supposedly named his on-court rival via an Instagram live feed with Fat Joe. The choice is absolutely not surprising, and it makes sense given the reasoning. Lindsey Wisniewski of NBC Sports reported on Lillard's statement:

“If I had to say I had an arch nemesis, it would probably be Russ [Westbrook], because when me and Russ play, we going after each other,” Lillard said. “It’s been that way every time we’ve played since I’ve been in the NBA. Eight-straight years of just me and him going at each other."

Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook definitely have history in the playoffs. Their supposed beef has been reported on before, and Lillard made clear there's no off-court animosity. Lillard notably hit a shot from way beyond the arc over Paul George, to metaphorically end the Russell Westbrook era in Oklahoma City. George was traded to the Clippers and Westbrook to the Rockets in the offseason following that series-ending shot. Despite beating Westbrook, Lillard obviously respects him as an opponent for his mindset, and for the fact that Westbrook doesn't hold back on the court.

Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook are opposites on the court; Lillard is cool and collected, while Westbrook is fiery and passionate. With Westbrook is in the Eastern Conference, the two won't face each other in the playoffs unless both make the Finals. As we reminisce on their legendary series from a few years ago, we can appreciate both of them for their greatness. Maybe there is a long shot we see a Finals matchup between the two.