Shocked by the Bucks Trade, Damian Lillard Regained His Senses After Receiving 5-Word Bombshell From Giannis Antetokounmpo

Published 09/29/2023, 11:51 AM EDT

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The biggest offseason exchange unfolded as the Milwaukee Bucks and the Portland Trail Blazers pulled off a shocking trade. The move not only reshapes their star player’s respective narratives but strings the two to their common goal. Damian Lillard, who had demanded a trade months ago, now will wear a Milwaukee Bucks jersey. Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo, who had expressed his desire to leave unless the team made championship-worthy moves, finally has a superstar teammate.

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The news of the trade sent shockwaves not only through the entire NBA world but also through Damian Lillard. Lillard had previously expressed his desire to join the Miami Heat, but fate had other plans. Nevertheless, both Dame and Giannis now have what they longed for—a genuine opportunity to compete for an NBA championship.

It took Damian Lillard some time to soak in the news

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On a recent episode of This League: Uncut, Chris Haynes and Marc Stein discussed Lillard’s trade. Haynes vividly remembered the exact moment when Lillard received the news; since he was on the phone with Dame at the time.

He revealed that it took Lillard some time to fully comprehend the details of the trade. He recalled, “I was live on the phone with him. And he was just really just speechless. He was saying like “I gotta wrap my mind around this. I gotta wrap my mind around this”. That’s what he kept saying and he was talking about his kids. What is his kids gonna do? Are they coming? That was what he was thinking.”

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Haynes further shared that Lillard began to consider the basketball aspect of the trade only after receiving a text from Giannis. According to Marc, the text wrote: “Let’s f****ng get this championship.”

The blockbuster trade unfolded as a three-team deal involving the Blazers, the Bucks, and the Phoenix Suns. In addition to Lillard’s transfer, the Blazers acquired Deandre Ayton, Toumani Camara, Jrue Holiday, a 2029 1st-round pick, and two first-round swaps in 2028 and 2030.

Meanwhile, the Suns received Grayson Allen, Keon Johnson, Nassir Little, and Jusuf Nurkic.

Lillard wrote a heartfelt goodbye to Portland

Damian Lillard penned a heartfelt farewell message to the Portland Trail Blazers a day after his trade. He has been with the organization for 11 long years and has showcased immense loyalty by his side to the fans. Lillard stood out as one of the most significant uncertainties of the offseason. While it took the Blazers months to address Dame’s trade request, he ultimately chose to leave the past behind. 

Opening his letter with the words, “I want to start off by saying this isn’t a goodbye, it’s a see you later,” he acknowledged the fans and all the love he garnered over the years. Furthermore, like a gentleman, Lillard made sure to make amends with Blazers owner Jody Allen, acknowledging their recent history.

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Trail Blazers selected Lillard as the No. 6 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. He has been with the team ever since. Lillard earned Rookie of the Year and had an illustrious tenure in Portland. He has seven All-Star selections and is also the franchise’s all-time leading scorer.

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During his time with the Blazers, he led them to eight playoff appearances and a trip to the Western Conference finals.

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Written by:

Saahil Dhillan

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One take at a time

Saahil Dhillan is an NBA Writer at Essentially Sports. He has been writing articles and blogs for 5 years now, including those for a sports brand that manufactures knee braces, for a Red Bull athlete in 2019 and for a documentary of an Ultra Running Coach in 2021. There’s plenty Saahil can write about why he likes basketball, having followed the NBA for more than 10 years, but he is most keen on picking out various offense/defense strategies, on/off-court decisions, roster changes in crunch time and other underrated key elements that leave an impact on the scoreboard.
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Edited by:

Aishwary Gaonkar

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