Damian Lillard’s past acrimony with new teammate Patrick Beverley is water under the bridge as far as Lillard is concerned.
Beverley was traded from the Sixers to the Bucks in return for Cameron Payne and a 2027 second-round pick shortly before the NBA Trade Deadline on Thursday.
Lillard spoke about the news with Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report.
“First, I want to say I’m sad to see Cam [Payne] go,” Lillard said.
“We developed a friendship that I cherish. As for Pat, he brings an edge and a defensive tenacity on the perimeter that we need. There are not many players who bring it on a nightly like him.
“I look forward to working together. Our past personal issues don’t trump an opportunity to win a championship.”
The news that Beverley had been traded to the Bucks was broken by none other than Beverley himself on the X page for his Barstool Sports podcast.
During the 2020 NBA bubble, when Lillard was on the Blazers and Beverley on the Clippers, Lillard stunningly missed two late free throws that helped lead to Portland losing to Los Angeles.
Beverley pretended to fall over on the Clippers bench and waved goodbye to the Blazers after the game.
Later in the bubble, Lillard and his ex-Blazers teammate CJ McCollum relished in the Clippers’ playoff collapse.
Last year, when Beverley was on the Lakers, he crowed after the game about how his defense held Lillard to a poor shooting night.
“If he would have cooked me, you would have said, ‘I couldn’t guard him,’” Beverley told reporters after the game.
“But he misses a couple shots and it’s a ‘slow shooting night.’ ‘Good job on Dame’ sounds better.”
On X, Lillard responded to the barbs: “Con man. Flip from above the rim.”
There have been several other microaggressions over the years.
This would not be the first time that Beverley, a known pest on defense, has put personal issues aside with a foe-turned-teammate, as he and Russell Westbrook laid a lengthy beef to rest when they became teammates on the Lakers before last season.