Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers is undoubtedly one of the fiercest competitors the NBA has seen.
His ruthless drives to the hole and heartbreaking clutch baskets have propelled Damian Lillard to an elite level among NBA point guards. Dame has also always been known to speak his mind and never back down from any challenge from anyone which, although has been loved by many including his city of Portland, this has also successfully garnered him some rivals both on and off the court. Let’s examine who has the most beef with the Oakland native.
5. Shaquille O’Neal
Lillard got into a brief rap beef with four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal in 2019. As you all know, Lillard has been balancing both his basketball and music career releasing tracks as Dame D.O.L.L.A. since 2016. Something that Shaq also attempted earlier in his career when he came out with an album as Shaq Diesel in 1993. When Damian Lillard was asked who he thinks is the better rapper between them both, D.O.L.L.A. didn’t mince his words.
“I think I rap better than Shaq,” Lillard told Budden (h/t to NBC Sports). “I think he was viewed as Shaq. People [weren’t] looking at him like he was a real rapper. They was like, ‘That’s Shaq rapping,’ so of course it was a big deal.”
The two would go on to exchange diss tracks against each other which had both fans and experts debating online on whether who came out on top. Some say Dame had the upper hand on this one but a lot were also tipping their hat to Diesel who came out of retirement to challenge Damian Lillard. The beef would only last a couple of months as it was quickly squashed after a solid few rounds on the rap ring.
4. Russell Westbrook
With the way both Damian Lillard and Houston Rockets’ dynamic point guard Russell Westbrook play, it’s inevitable that these two would butt heads on their in-court duels. Lillard and Westbrook are two of the most explosive guards in the league and they’re surely not backing down from a good point guard battle. Being both in the Nortwest Division, the two guards met a bunch of times when Westbrook was still playing for the Oklahoma City Thunder and each time their two teams were scheduled to match up, fireworks were about to be lit. Their duels were highlighted by some not-so-friendly bumps, endless trash-talking and a few techs here and there with both guards jawing at each other after almost every play.
Even when Westbrook moved out of Oklahoma to join the Houston Rockets prior to the 2019-2020 season, he made sure to bring that beef intensity the first time they met again. Unfortunately for Westbrook, he might need a few more and-1’s to make up for that savage series-ending three from Damian Lillard, who literally ended Russ’ OKC career.
3. Skip Bayless
Make no mistake about it, Dame brings the heat even when he’s off the court. And when he gets called out by TV personalities like Skip Bayless, he’s not going to take it lightly. The ever-vocal Bayless criticized the Blazers guard at the resumption of the NBA 2019-2020 season. The 68-year old sports analyst tweeted out that he ‘wasn’t buying into Dame Time‘ which didn’t sit well with Damian Lillard. Dame clapped back and said that Bayless was ‘a joke‘ and claimed that he will never have his respect.
2. Patrick Beverley
It seems like Patrick Beverley is synonymous to the word ‘beef’ as that the 32 year old Chicago-native has been known to get under the skin of his opponents. And, given that Beverley has always been assigned to defend his opposing team’s best guards, a feud between him and the Blazer sharpshooter would be unavoidable. Beverley was a first-hand witness to Dame Time when Damian Lillard sent Beverley and his former Rockets team packing after a clutch series-ending three in the 2014 Playoffs.
Beverley though has come out to admit that Damian Lillard is definitely one of the hardest ones to guard in the league. When asked about who his toughest challenge is, Beverley claims it’s definitely Lillard.
“I say Dame [Lillard] … I give it to him. Dame is one of the reasons why I went into the weight room and I told my guys, ‘Hey, I gotta get faster laterally. I don’t feel like I’m fast. I can’t keep up with the speed right now,’” the Clippers guard told New Orleans Pelicans guard JJ Reddick in his podcast (via The Ringer).
Though it is evident that the Beverley respects Lillard’s game, the fiery guard is not one to let any trash-talking opportunity go. Their on-going beef was revived in the 2019-2020 NBA season when the two met inside the Orlando Bubble where Beverley was more than vocal after his new team the Los Angeles Clippers beat out the Blazers in a key match-up. Beverley was seen mocking Lillard as he missed a couple of crucial free throws in the final moments of the game. The feud was dragged post-game and even extended to social media where Beverley’s teammate Paul George also dragged himself into the mix.
1. Paul George
Speaking of George, he also isn’t the best of friends with Damian Lillard. Before we get into this 2020 feud, let’s go back a bit and see where it all started.
When Damian Lillard dropped his series-ending logo bomb against the Thunder in the 2019 playoffs, George was the one who was on him and was a little bitter after they got eliminated. The Clippers All-Star mentioned that it was a ‘bad shot’ that Lillard took which obviously was laughable from Lillard’s end. I mean any shot that goes in the bucket is a good shot, right?
Fast forward to 2020 when the tension between the two reignited after the aformentioned loss of the Blazers inside the NBA Bubble. Lillard was mad post-game about the trash-talking antics from the Clippers. George went on to mock Dame on social media which only pissed off Dame more. The twitter feud got ugly real quick as both Lillard’s sister and George’s wife chimed in. For what its worth, both players have apologized to each other and says that the beef was nothing personal.