During the third quarter of the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, D’Angelo Russell and Damian Lillard were given a technical foul each for the altercation and heated exchange of words they were involved in.
Lillard spoke about what led to the incident and suggested that the 20-year-old played dirty even during their team’s first meeting this season.
“Since last game, he’s been doing little slick elbows and I play the game clean. I’m from Oakland. I ain’t with that extra stuff and nobody can just do what they want to me.”
“I got called for a foul to start the third quarter for reaching in, but when I reached in the only reason there was contact is because his elbow came up again. After he blocked my shot, I was walking to my spot, and I felt like he went out of his way to get that elbow in there again. And I told him, ‘That ain’t gonna fly.’ And I wasn’t interested in anything else that was said after that. We ain’t going to do it on the court so we’ll be in the back and whatever happens, happens.”
“First of all…taking it outside? C’mon we’re out here competing. Our team is trying to win, his team is trying to win. I don’t think it should ever get to that level. I thought D’Angelo competed his butt off last night. I told him last night after the game I was really happy with how he was getting after it. Obviously, I never would encourage dirty play, but from what I see I didn’t see any of it.”
“As long as he’s competing I’m fine with some trash talk, whatever it is. And I thought he was competing last night, so if his emotions lead him to do that, while he’s competing, then I have no problem with it.”
With both teams slated to meet two more times this season, you can be sure that we haven’t heard the end of this one.