Milwaukee Bucks star Damian Lillard tells the story of how he tried to recruit Giannis Antetokounmpo to come to his former team in the Portland Trail Blazers. He also revealed on the show “Knuckleheads” for The Players Tribune, that the middleman in all these talks was Pat Connaughton who was on the Blazers and the Bucks.
“There was a stretch where Giannis was trying to get me to go to Milwaukee, and I was like, ‘No, you come to Portland!'” Lillard said. “Pat Connaughton was my rookie in Portland. After he signed here, he was the middleman.”
"There was a stretch where Giannis was trying to get me to go to Milwaukee, and I was like, 'No, you come to Portland!'… Pat Connaughton was my rookie in Portland. After he signed here, he was the middleman."
— Damian Lillard 👀
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) November 20, 2023
Lillard talks about first meeting Antetokounmpo after the trade
He went on to say that they made a group chat with the three of them and talked about playing with each other, but at that time, the team wasn't certain. Fast forward to the present and after the trade was completed that sent Lillard to Milwaukee, Lillard details the meeting he had with Antetokounmpo when he first got to the facility.
“As soon as I got there, Giannis was walking in two minutes later. I was sitting in there talking about some physical stuff and he walked in the office like ‘Can I talk to Dame for five minutes?”, they walked out and we sat in there for like an hour,” Lillard said. “We were just talking about like ‘This is what we need to do, this is what I'm about,' like it was that type of conversation.”
As the two superstars are still trying to gain that chemistry together, the Bucks are still 9-4 which puts them at third in the Eastern Conference. Lillard is currently averaging 24.8 points, 6.2 assists, and 4.2 rebounds per game through 11 games played. For Antetokounmpo, he's continuing to have a productive season as he's averaging 29.2 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game.
The main quest for Lillard is to achieve an NBA Championship and while his original request was to go to the Miami Heat, he was sent to Milwaukee. With their past accomplishments in getting a trophy, this could be Lillard's best shot.
The Bucks are on a four-game winning streak after beating the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday. They'll look for five straight wins as they face the struggling Washington Wizards who are 2-10 on the season tonight at 7:00 p.m. (EST).