‘It's a bittersweet day…’ Giannis Antetokounmpo reacts to Damian Lillard trade - Hindustan Times

‘It's a bittersweet day…’ Giannis Antetokounmpo reacts to Damian Lillard to Milwaukee Bucks trade

Sep 29, 2023 03:54 PM IST

Former Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard was traded to Milwaukee Bucks in a three-team deal involving the Phoenix Suns

After plenty of speculation and a never-ending series of rumours, the Damian Lillard trade saga eventually came to an end with the Milwaukee Bucks emerging as the All-Star’s next destination. The former Portland Trail Blazers point guard was traded to the Bucks in a three-team deal which involves Phoenix Suns as well. The blockbuster and much-awaited move now gives the Bucks an opportunity to have Lillard and former MVP and NBA champion Giannis Antetokounmpo in their roster. The Greek Freak recently shared his feelings on the prospect of playing alongside Lillard.

Damian Lillard(AP)
Damian Lillard(AP)

While speaking to Bleacher Report, Giannis revealed that it is a “bittersweet” feeling because the Bucks also lost an exceptionally talented player like Jrue Holiday in the trade deal in order to acquire the services of the former Blazers star. Giannis, at the same time, said that he was “excited” to have Lillard in the Bucks team.

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"Now at the same time, I'm excited to have Dame. He gives us a chance to win a championship. I'm excited to play with the caliber of player that he is. He can score the ball in his sleep and shoot the lights out,” Giannis said.

"It's a bittersweet day for the city of Milwaukee. You get Dame, who is a great player, but you lose a great guy. Jrue took us to the promised land. I'm 10 years in now. I know it's a business. At the end of the day, Jrue will alway be be my brother for life. He's one of the best human beings I've been around. But we've got to focus on the goal to win the championship. Dame wants this. He's hungry to win, and he's going to push us. I'm very happy to have him on our team,” added the two-time NBA MVP.

The acquisition of Lillard comes just months after Giannis Antetokounmpo told The New York Times over the summer that he wanted to see how determined the Bucks were for winning the championship. The Lillard deal is expected to keep Giannis at Milwaukee for a couple of more seasons. Giannis’ current contract with the Bucks runs through the 2024-25 season, with a player option for 2025-26.

Meanwhile, Damian Lillard averaged 32.2 points per game for the Portland Trail Blazers last time. Having spent his entire NBA career with the Trail Blazers, Lillard, a seven-time All-NBA selection, established himself as one of the finest guards in the league. Lillard had multiple times asked the Blazers to upgrade the roster in a bid to fight for the championship. But his efforts went in vain and Lillard was ultimately forced to ask for a trade. The 33-year-old managed to average at least 24 points per game in each of his last eight seasons.

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