Damian Lillard Opens Up About Relationship With Giannis

Lillard Dame Giannis

It hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing for the Bucks since Damian Lillard has come on board and he has spoken honestly about his partnership with Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Lillard was brought onto the team with one goal in mind – that was to win an NBA championship.

As a duo, Dame and Giannis have been of one the best in the league this season and have a 37-15 record when playing together.

When asked about his on-court relationship with Giannis, Lillard made the comparison to 2023 championship duo Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, citing that good things take time.

“I always use [Nikola] Jokić and Jamal Murray as an example, but they played together for six or seven years,” Lillard told SI. “They don’t even think about it no more. But in the beginning, they struggled. Jokić would have his moments and then Jamal Murray would struggle and then he would have his moments and then it would take away from him. And then once they figured it out, they went out there and won it.

“For us, I think we have a good relationship. But I think both of us, what it comes down to is we just got to keep putting time into it and just keep getting to know each other. And then we both got to be willing to go to war for each other. And we’re going to have to give something up for each other at times. He’s had a 60-point game and I’m like, ‘It ain’t my night tonight.’ It ain’t my night. Or this team doesn’t have anything for him, I’m going to play to that. And then when they try to go to that, then I’m going to make them pay for trying to take that away. We got to have that type of relationship where we see it and we just do it.”

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As for the team’s championship hopes, Dame imagined things to be different, but is still confident his team can get job done.

“I thought we were going to be how Boston is right now,” said Lillard, per Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. “But I think what I’ve learned is that some things take time, especially stuff that has a reward in the end. You can’t come into it and think that it’s just going to be all peaches and cream. We’ve had our ups and downs. We’ve had a coaching change. I haven’t completely settled in to finding who am I on this team. And that’s kind of a tough thing.”