A full history of the Damian Lillard-Russell Westbrook beef
We all know that Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook don’t like each other. Even in their last meeting in the bubble, the two had words for each other as usual. With a juicy beef such as this, it’s interesting to see when it all started. Here, we take a look at the full history of the beef between Lillard and Westbrook.
The first words exchanged appear to be Westbrook yelling “I’ve been busting that ass for years.” This happened when Lillard stepped to the free-throw line during a late January game last year against the Thunder. Those words essentially gave birth to the rivalry.
However, it seems that the first clear indication of the beef was in the second quarter of Game 2 during the 2019 playoffs when the Oklahoma City Thunder went head-to-head with the Portland Trail Blazers. At that time, Westbrook was unable to penetrate and he retreated to the corner, where Lillard’s tight defense forced him to slip. Then, Lillard pestered Westbrook until he fell down. This set the stage for the rivalry to brew as the two clearly showed disdain toward each other during the entire sequence. The two would go on to exchange a plethora of offensive and defensive plays aimed at one another paired with gestures and words to top it all off. Westbrook was knocking down tough shots on Lillard’s face and rocking the baby, while Lillard was also busy draining threes from virtually half court and waving goodbye. Even if Lillard ultimately walked away as the clear winner in this round, this was simply prime time television for everyone that was watching.
Fast forward to November last year, Lillard nonchalantly tuned down the noise surrounding his rivalry with Russell Westbrook as he stated, “Neither one of us won the championship.” This comes as a humble surprise given that Lillard largely outplayed the Westbrook in the postseason, he argued that there is not much to their beef as both of them haven’t reached the ultimate goal at the end of the day. Lillard also added that there was no hate between the two as it’s simply a fun rivalry between two ultra-competitive guards.
Moving on to January 15, 2020, the Trail Blazers were sitting at 10th in the west with a measly record of 20-27, which meant that Portland was at risk of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2013. With 8:08 remaining and the Blazers up by 14 points, Lillard fouled Westbrook in the post, and Westbrook went to the line where Westbrook talked smack, “A foul is a bucket. You can’t guard me. Automatic two points.” Meanwhile, Lillard responded, “You a 60 percent free-throw shooter. You gonna miss both of them.” Westbrook started jawing about playoff standing afterward, “What seed you all? What playoff seed are you all?” as Westbrook asked Lillard while he was standing at the free-throw line. Nevertheless, Lillard had one last punch line, “You know I’m the last person you want to see in the playoffs.” Of course, the two were sanctioned with double-technical fouls afterwards. Be that as it may, Lillard once again came out on top with the last laugh as they went on to win the game, 117-107.
Today, Westbrook and Lillard appear to still have beef as evidenced by the latest verbal exchange in their game yesterday. The rivalry looks alive and well as the star players look to dominate one another in any given match-up.
Nevertheless, the beef doesn’t appear to be a personal agenda as these two individuals seem to have a healthy competitive rivalry that brings out the best and worst out of one another.
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