Damian Lillard was at Bucks media day on Monday and gave insight into his new partnership with two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.
After a hugely drawn out trade process with the Blazers that ended in a blockbuster three-team trade, Lillard is in Milwaukee and feels at peace with what’s occurred.
“It is definitely different,” guard Lillard told Andscape while wearing his new Bucks uniform. “I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t different. But it doesn’t feel out of place. Over the course of my career, I’ve always thought if I was ever somewhere else I would feel like I was out of place or weird about it. And it feels proper. It feels like this is what it’s supposed to be.”
The 33-year-old now has the opportunity to form one of the most deadly duos in the NBA with Giannis, who is someone he has wanted to team up with for a while.
“When I hear him speak and how he goes about his business, he speaks my language,” Lillard said. “He goes about it in the way that I’ve always done it. And for me to be able to coexist, I think that’s the kind of person that it would mesh best with.”
The Bucks franchise is also all about family.
Something Dame noticed as soon as he had his first practice.
“I came in to work out and he was in working out,” Lillard said. “And everybody kept saying how, ‘It’s a family organization. Family is always around.’ And I came in, I was working out, he was here, his family was here, and it was laid-back. It didn’t feel like work. It was just his kids running around, getting treatment. I get on the court and he’d get on the court. It was really chill. So, it was cool to see them in that element.”
His counterpart Giannis is just as excited about the new combination, but knows there is a lot of hard work ahead of them to achieve their title goal.
“It’s a blessing to have opportunity to play with a guy like that,” Antetokounmpo told Andscape. “A guy that is built from the same cloth as you. A guy that is a killer. He plays with a chip on his shoulder. He’s been good for so many years in the league, dominating the league and having a guy that you can go to war every single day that wants it as bad as you want. It is always a good feeling. He’s hungry and but he even makes me hungrier because when you are amongst greatness every single day, you have to bring it. You cannot slack. And it goes vice versa. He has to bring it, too.”
The team now have a host of veteran players like Giannis, Lillard, Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton and Bobby Portis and are one of the betting favorites to win the championship this season.
This offseason has seen a rise in teams recruiting veteran players – Lillard to the Bucks, Chris Paul to the Warriors, Jrue Holiday to the Celtics, Bradley Beal to the Suns and plenty more.
One thing is for sure, this NBA season will be unmissable.