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#pounditThursday, April 25, 2024

Damian Lillard reacts to Bucks’ trade for his former enemy Patrick Beverley

Damian Lillard takes a shot

Oct 20, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard (0) warms up before the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Damian Lillard is going to have to play nice with one of his longtime NBA adversaries.

Lillard’s Milwaukee Bucks made a notable move ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline, acquiring former All-Defensive Teamer Patrick Beverley from the Philadelphia 76ers. The Bucks are sending several assets back to Philly in exchange for Beverley, including guard Cam Payne.

In an interesting move, Lillard made a statement about the Beverley trade (since the two have had a long-running feud over the years).

“First, I want to say I’m sad to see Cam go,” said Lillard, per Chris Haynes of TNT. “We developed a friendship that I cherish.

“As for Pat, he brings an edge and a defensive tenacity on the perimeter that we need,” Lillard continued. “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.”

Lillard and Beverley were at each other’s throats for many years in the Western Conference. While Lillard was with the Portland Trail Blazers, Beverley often got under his skin, including a high-profile war of words during the 2020 bubble. The beef also continued as recently as last year when Beverley was on the Los Angeles Lakers.

But as a basketball player, Beverley is a battle-tested, two-way fireball that any championship contender would love to have off their bench. If Beverley can make peace with this former blood enemy of his, he can probably do so as well with Lillard, whom he will now be backing up in Milwaukee.

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