Giannis Antetokounmpo has already made it abundantly clear that he wants new Milwaukee Bucks teammate Damian Lillard to be himself now that they’ve joined forces. Giannis stated that he wants “Dame to be Dame” in that the former Portland Trail Blazers superstar won’t have to change his game in order to adjust to playing alongside Antetokounmpo.
This is obviously much easier said than done.
Damian Lillard Knows He Will Need to Make ‘Sacrifices’ With Milwaukee Bucks
You can say for sure that Lillard knows what he signed up for when he agreed to join the Bucks. The Miami Heat were obviously his first choice, but now that he’s landed in Milwaukee, let’s just say that he’s not crying over spilled milk.
Dame has been around long enough to know that this transition isn’t going to be easy. This is the first time he will be playing alongside a generational talent such as Antetokounmpo, and Lillard is well aware of the fact that he will need to make certain adjustments along the way:
“I think when you’re putting winning first — and that’s the reason I’m here, is to have opportunity to win — I think you’ve got to come into it open-minded and understanding that it might take some sacrifice,” Lillard said, via Steve Megargee of the Wisconsin State Journal. “It usually does if you want to attain anything. I think you’ve got to come in willing to sacrifice.”
This sacrifice may come in different shapes and forms. It may be Lillard handling the ball less, taking fewer shots, or perhaps being less of a focal point on offense. Either way, what is clear is that Dame is willing to do whatever is needed to win.
The Bucks Are Giannis’ Team
Lillard also stated that he isn’t contesting the fact that the Bucks are Antetokounmpo’s team. Giannis has been Milwaukee’s talisman for many years now, and while Dame played a similar role for Portland over the past decade, Lillard knows who the alpha is in Milwaukee:
“And I also know that I’m joining his team, where he’s been and he’s done things a certain way,” Lillard continued. “And I’m also here to enhance it, to bring what I bring so it can be better, so we give ourselves a chance to win.”
This is exactly the type of mindset you’d expect from Lillard coming in. Again, though, this is much easier said than done. All this will be put to the test once this team encounters adversity. It’s not always going to be sunny in Milwaukee, and it will be very interesting to see how this group responds when the going gets rough.
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