The Milwaukee Bucks checked off a significant item on their offseason list on Sunday as Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard both made their much-anticipated debuts for the team. For Giannis, this was his first game back following offseason knee surgery. Lillard, on the other hand, took the floor for the first time in Milwaukee’s colors.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard Make Milwaukee Bucks Debut
Neither Giannis nor Dame played significant minutes on Sunday in the Bucks‘ 108-97 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. However, Milwaukee supporters were more than happy to see their new superstar pairing finally take the court for the first time.
Despite their successful debut, Lillard could not help but take a realistic approach in terms of what he expects from his new team this season. Dame has been around long enough to know that it’s not always going to be peaches and cream with the Bucks. Some growing pains are expected along the way, and at this point, he’s already anticipating an imminent clash between himself and Antetokounmpo:
“It might take a time where Giannis might have to get mad at me over something,” Lillard said with a laugh, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “Something’s got to happen for you to really start to learn who we are and how we come together.”
Lillard knows that adversity is inevitable. He also understands that it’s these trials that are going to make them a better team once they are able to surpass them. It won’t be easy, but Dame, of all people, knows that winning a championship is never a walk in the park.
Upon hearing about Lillard’s forecast, Giannis responded with a dissenting opinion:
“I don’t think I’m ever going to be mad at him,” Antetokounmpo said. “What he does for this team is so much that you can never be upset. … What he does, just by him being out there, he creates so much attention. It makes our game easier. … By him basically doing nothing, just walking around, just being Damian Lillard.”
You love to hear that, but it’s hard to imagine the two stars not having an argument in the not-so-distant future. Not only are they two of the top players in the game today, but their level of competitiveness is also second to none. It’s almost certain that at one point, these two are going to have a spirited discussion about something they don’t agree on.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. As Lillard said, it’s what they do after the disagreement that will matter more.
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