Skip to main content

Damian Lillard explains how Russell Westbrook became his arch-nemesis in the NBA

westbrook & lillard copy

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

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

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

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose dunks the ball against Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic

“This is my nightmare” - Goran Dragic on Derrick Rose's vicious dunk 12 years ago

Dragic has a sense of humor about one of the most memorable dunks in NBA history - “At least I'm on TV all the time.”

Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso

“The NBA told me I couldn’t” — Chicago Bulls guard Alex Caruso wasn't allowed to switch jersey number

Caruso wanted to honor Bill Russell, but the NBA had a surprising reason not to allow the switch.

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and assistant coach Phil Handy

“This man doesn’t work hard all the time” - Lebron James’ work ethic was once questioned by an assistant coach

Phil Handy initially thought LeBron James didn't give his full effort all the time until he witnessed Zero Dark Thirty 23 in the playoffs.

Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka talks with forward Jayson Tatum

"S**t, on Twitter, like everybody else." — Jayson Tatum on how he found out about Ime Udoka's suspension

Tatum, who mentioned that he developed a close bond with Udoka, also revealed that he hasn't spoken to his head coach since the suspension was reported.