Damian Lillard Details ‘Work in Progress’ on Fitting in With Bucks, Giannis

Damian Lillard, Giannis Antetokounmpo

Getty Damian Lillard, Giannis Antetokounmpo

Damian Lillard was the Milwaukee Bucks‘ prized offseason acquisition. While they are 37-21, they are the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. Before the Bucks acquired him, Lillard became accustomed to being the first option on offense with the Portland Trail Blazers. Playing next to Giannis Antetokounmpo, that’s not the case.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, Lillard talked about what it’s been like to adjust to Milwaukee.

“It’s been a real transition,” Lillard told Mannix in a February 27 story. “Being in the same situation for 11 years, deciding to move on from that, wanting a chance to win. And then coming here playing for a first-time coach [Adrian Griffin] and him being new to the team. So it isn’t like I came to Milwaukee, and everything was already established. It was a completely new staff.”

Furthermore, Lillard explained what it’s been like to adjust to being Giannis’ second-in-command.

“Obviously, trying to figure out me pairing with Giannis [Antetokounmpo] and being a part of this team. It’s a process, and I think that’s been an adjustment for both of us. He’s used to playing a certain way. I’m used to playing a certain way, and I think we’ve had moments. I just think it’s still a work in progress.”

Lillard and the Bucks have 24 more regular season games to figure themselves out before the postseason.

Damian Lillard’s Thoughts on Terry Stotts Departure

Before the 2023-24 season started, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on October 19 that Terry Stotts had stepped down as an assistant coach for the Bucks. Stotts had coached Damian Lillard from 2012 to 2021, so their understanding of one another could have helped.

While talking with Mannix, Lillard talked about how hard it was to learn the Bucks’ schemes without Stotts.

“I think when Terry left, that part of it, the familiarity of what we were doing, it kind of left with him. Now I’m like, O.K., what’s this play?’ I was kind of in the figuring out stage. So when you don’t really know stuff like the back of your hand, it is hard to direct traffic and be telling people, ‘I want you right here or there.’”

Lillard added that for the position he plays, it can be difficult to thrive when he’s trying to implement the schemes.

“Point guards, especially veteran point guards, man, we play the game differently than a young talented point guard. We are just manipulating everything. And that’s hard to do for the team and for yourself when you’re just trying to learn.”

Damian Lillard Excludes Giannis From Chosen Starting Five

While talking with TikTok influencer “nelsontheprodigy_,” Damian Lillard excluded Giannis while talking about which five players he would like to play with.

“It would be me, LeBron (James), Steph(en Curry), Kevin Durant, and I’m gonna go with Bam Adebayo,” Lillard said.


Q&A with my guy Dame Lillard🔥 Dame 9 coming soon👀 @adidas #adidasbasketball #createdwithadidas

♬ original sound – Nelson

It’s more likely than not that the reason why Lillard excluded Giannis is because they already play together. He also didn’t name anyone else from the Bucks or anyone who he played with on the Trail Blazers.

It is noteworthy that he named Adebayo since Lillard originally wanted the Trail Blazers to trade him to the Miami Heat.