Rivalries between players in the NBA are a regular thing ever since the league started. Every era had its recognizable rivalries, from Wilt and Russell, Magic and Bird, Jordan, and everybody else in the NBA. Now things are pretty much the same with certain players around the league.
One of the most prominent guards in the NBA now is, without a doubt, Damian Lillard, who is legitimately one of the best pure scorers we’ve recently seen. He talked about the topic of rivalries on a recent Instagram Live chat with the rapper Fat Joe in which he said Russell Westbrook is that guy for him in today’s NBA.
“If I had to say I had an arch-nemesis, it would probably be Russ [Westbrook], because when me and Russ play, we going after each other,” Lillard said. “It’s been that way every time we’ve played since I’ve been in the NBA. Eight-straight years of just me and him going at each other.”Damian Lillard, via Fat Joe Instagram Live
Lillard and Westbrook had their share of battles, especially in the playoffs in recent years. Before Westbrook signed with the Wizards and moved to the eastern conference, both he and Lillard had the opportunity to face each other on multiple occasions.
When Westbrook was still playing for OKC, they’ve played against the Blazers in the first round of the playoffs that had some pretty epic moments that involved a lot of trash talking from both of them. Luckily for the Blazers, Lillard had the last laugh making a three-pointer in Paul George’s face to win the series in game 5. Despite all of that, there is nothing but respect between them off the court, and Lillard knows Russ is the ultimate competitor that will come after him the next game they playing against each other.
It’s respect off the court. We’re solid, we’re cool off the court, but once we play, we are just going at each other every time. It doesn’t matter the beginning of the season, middle of the season, end of the season. It doesn’t matter what it is; we are going after each other. So I would say him.Damian Lillard, via Fat Joe Instagram Live