Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook have a rich and deep history. As two of the best guards in the game, who both play in the West, they meet at least a couple of times each season. A lot of their encounters include some kind altercation between the two.
Earlier this month, things got real when Russ alluded to his defeat over Westbrook and the Thunder in the 2019 postseason.
“What seed you all? What playoff seed are you all?” Lillard remembered him saying.
Then Lillard ended the conversation.
“I said, ‘You know I’m the last person you want to see in the playoffs.’”
But Lillard says there is a funny thing people don’t realize: “People get it confused that we have an issue with each other, when we really don’t,” Lillard said. “That’s the weirdest thing about it.”
There has been a lot that has gone wrong this season, but one thing is right: his mind.
“I’m not going to go away quietly,” Lillard said. “Ever.”
In last night's faceoff, Lillard and the Blazers got the upper hand as they took down the Rockets fairly easily in the 125-112 win. Interestingly enough, Russ also earned his first-ever career triple-double, delivering 36 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds. It's another dominant game of what has been an amazing stretch for Lillard.
It marks yet another chapter of a long, drawn-out rivalry. But, according to Dame, it's nothing personal. Their on-court chatter is nothing more than two ruthless competitors going at each other.
Indeed, if you're looking for competitors, it doesn't get much better than Dame and Russ. They are going to do whatever it takes to win, even if it means taking some jabs in the process.