Damian Lillard ended Westbrook’s OKC tenure. Dame dropped one of the coldest shots in playoff history and had an even better reaction to it. The two always had a back and forth going on, and it didn’t stop with Westbrook changing teams. Before we get into the latest story, here’s a reminder.
It seems like Westbrook didn’t learn his lesson. In a story by Jason Quick for The Athletic, Lillard spoke on his time and persistence to stay in Portland, Their playoffs chances, and many other topics. He was also forthcoming about his interaction with Westbrook. On January 15th, the Rockets were in town, and there was some action again.
“He was backing me down and being real physical, and I was being physical back, and he swept (his arms) through and I swiped down and fouled him, on purpose. Hard fouled him.”via Jason Quick, The Athletic
As Westbrook walked to the free-throw line, he began talking at Lillard.“As he was going to the line, he said, ‘That’s automatic two points. Two points,’” Lillard recalled.
As Lillard walked behind Westbrook to position himself near the 3-point line for Westbrook’s free throw, he dropped a barb.“You a 60 percent free-throw shooter,” Lillard said he told him. “You gonna miss both of them.”
Westbrook looked back to Lillard and said, “Impossible!”“And you can see, if you look at the (video) clip, he says ’82 (percent)!’”
Actually, Westbrook was a 79 percent foul shooter entering that game, but at any rate, he missed the first free throw.
Lillard poked back, adjusting that 60 percent jab.“I said, ’50 percent now,’” Lillard said.
Unwilling to let Lillard have the last word, Westbrook shot back.“What seed you all? What playoff seed are you all?” Lillard remembered him saying.
Then Lillard ended the conversation.“I said, ‘You know I’m the last person you want to see in the playoffs.’”
Lillard made sure to point out one thing – he likes Westbrook, and the feeling is mutual. This isn’t personal between them. They saw each other after their first game of the season in November and embraced. This is an excellent example for all veterans complaining about players being friendly off the court.
Lillard and Westbrook possibly have the biggest rivalry in the NBA. Every time they match up, it’s electric. Yet, they are capable of being nice to each other off the court. Go figure.