After 12 terrific seasons as a Portland Trail Blazer, longtime star Damian Lillard was traded away to the Milwaukee Bucks last week. He will join all-world big man Giannis Antetokounmpo in a quest to capture his first NBA Championship ring in 2024-25.
Even though it was Lillard who officially requested his trade out of Portland, he is still respected by the fans there. Likewise? He became a fixture in the city and arguably its most recognizable sports star in his decade+ time in the City of Roses.
Dame was quick to acknowledge that special relationship as he prepared for the next step in his NBA journey.
“I want to start off by saying this isn’t a goodbye, it’s a see you later,” Lillard wrote. “My words have always been from the heart when it comes to you Rip City. I consider you my home as well as many of my family members and that won’t change. I’ve built my entire adulthood here and made so many friends that I will never forget. The moments on the basketball court as great as they have been don’t even compare to the experience I’ve had with all of you. The way you embraced me from day one gave me no choice but to reciprocate the love a thousand times and I don’t regret it one bit.”
Damian Lillard was traded to Milwaukee as part of a three-team deal with the Phoenix Suns.
The Suns received Jusuf Nurkić, Grayson Allen, Nassir Little, and Keon Johnson, while Portland got Deandre Ayton, Toumani Camara and Jrue Holiday, though Holiday is expected to be traded again. Portland also received a 2029 draft pick, and unprotected swap rights in 2028 and 2030.
Lillard was selected by the Trail Blazers with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. He would go on to win the Rookie of the Year award and appear in seven All-Star games during his tenure in Portland.
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