Damian Lillard has never been shy to profess admiration for his NBA peers. The Portland Trail Blazers superstar has frequently praised the likes of LeBron James, Steph Curry and Draymond Green throughout his career, and just singled out Giannis Antetokounmpo as the player he'd most like to team up with in the postseason.

Few players in the league are held in higher esteem than Lillard, and not just because of his remarkable penchant for late-game heroics. He doles out just as much respect as he commands, always prioritizing authenticity over competitive beefs and self-serving hot takes.

The latest case in point: Lillard's pointed criticism of Patrick Beverley's ridiculous attacks on Chris Paul after the Phoenix Suns were dominated by Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks in Sunday's Game 7.

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Beverley appeared on ESPN's Monday morning edition of Get Up, calling Paul—a longtime personal adversary, it bears reminding—a “traffic cone” defensively and casting doubt on how difficult is for opponents to gameplan against him.

There's no debating that Paul underperformed in the last five games of the Western Conference Semifinals. He was consistently targeted on defense for one of the first times in his career and failed to make up for it on the other end, essentially serving as a non-factor offensively while Phoenix struggled under the immense pressure put forth by Dallas. It's clear that Paul wore down throughout the series.

Another fact: Paul turned 37 on May 6th. It was barely three weeks ago he made all 14 of his shots, an NBA record, while leading the Suns to a close-out victory over the New Orleans Pelicans. Paul will soon get another well-deserved All-NBA selection for guiding the Suns to a league-high 64 wins during the regular season, too.

Needless to say, Beverley has never achieved anywhere close to Paul's level of historic or recent success in the NBA. He's also still a bigger offensive liability than Paul is on the other end—just ask Lillard.

Matchups between the Lillard's Blazers and Beverley's Minnesota Timberwolves were already plenty contentious. Don't be surprised if they're even more heated next season.