How Long Has Damian Lillard Been in the NBA? Looking at Bucks Guard’s NBA Career Ahead of 1st Year Outside of Portland

Published 10/06/2023, 11:15 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

It feels weird to imagine Damian Lillard wearing a uniform that does not have Portland Trail Blazers written on it. But the NBA world will have to get used to this sight as Lillard is ready to start the second chapter of his career with The Milwaukee Bucks. Dame got traded to the Bucks in September, forming one of the most lethal duos in the NBA with 2-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.

As Dame D.O.L.L.A gets ready to start his run in Milwaukee, let us look back at the Bucks Guard’s NBA career ahead of his 1st year outside of Portland.

How long has Damian Lillard been in the NBA?


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Damian Lillard has been in the NBA for 11 years. He was the 6th overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft and spent the first 11 years of his career with the Portland Trail Blazers. Lillard found individual success as soon as he put on the Trail Blazers uniform. He won the Rookie of the Year award in 2013, averaging 19 points and 6.5 assists in his rookie season. Showing glimpses of stardom, Lillard proved that he belongs on the big stage when he hit a buzzer-beating Game Winner against the Houston Rockets in the first round of the 2014 playoffs, leading Portland to their first playoff series win in 14 years.

USA Today via Reuters

Dame soon became the pillar of the Portland Trail Blazers franchise, making 7 All-Star teams in 11 seasons. He became one of the most clutch players in the NBA, hitting one game-winner after another. Lillard’s insane shooting ability from anywhere on the court mortified his opponents, putting them on the receiving end of “Dame Time”. Lillard gave the Blazers fans another iconic moment in 2019 when he eliminated the OKC Thunder from the playoffs by hitting one of the coldest buzzer-beaters in NBA history.


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Despite Damian Lillard’s individual success in Portland, he was never able to take the Blazers to the top.


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The Rise and Fall of Damian Lillard in Portland

After his initial performance in the playoffs, Blazers fans were hopeful that Dame would lead Portland to a Championship. Unfortunately, the guard never found success in the playoffs. The Blazers were unable to surround Lillard with teammates who can help him win a Championship. The closest Portland got to winning a Championship was in 2019 when they reached the Western Conference Finals but got swept by Stephen Curry and Co.

Seeing no scope for improvement in Portland, Dame requested a trade this summer and got traded to the Milwaukee Bucks. Lillard proved his loyalty to the Blazers by giving them his all in the 11 years he was there. But his team was never good enough to win it all.


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Watch This Story: “Don’t Know How You Handle That”: After Joining Forces With Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard Sends Warning to the Rest of the NBA

Lillard is ready to win his first Championship as he will play alongside The Greek Freak, who is arguably the best player in the NBA. Dame has never played with a player as talented as Giannis, and he would love to seize this opportunity and get hold of the coveted Larry O’Brien trophy.


Written by:

Rohan Bhaunt


One take at a time

Rohan is an NBA Content Writer at EssentiallySports. He is a state-level basketball player and has been a fan of the NBA for over a decade. This allows him to deep dive into the sport and provide a fresh outlook.
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Edited by:

Bilal Handoo