In a shocking turn of events, the Portland Trail Blazers have traded Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks. This major move, part of a three-team deal also involving the Phoenix Suns, was announced on September 27, 2023. The Trail Blazers are set to receive Jrue Holiday, Deandre Ayton, Toumani Camara, Milwaukee’s 2029 unprotected first-round draft pick, and unprotected Milwaukee swap rights for 2028 and 2030.
Lillard, who will now play alongside the dominating Giannis Antetokounmpo, has had an illustrious NBA career, making significant impacts both on and off the court.
Early Life and Achievements
Born Damian Lamonte Ollie Lillard Sr. in 1990, this Oakland, California native began his professional career with the Portland Trail Blazers. During his tenure, he made numerous significant contributions to the team. Lillard, with his consistent performances, ensured his place in franchise history. He passed Jim Paxson for sixth on the franchise career list with 2,008 assists. In another memorable game against the Denver Nuggets, he led the Trail Blazers to a narrow win, scoring the go-ahead floater in overtime.
His talent truly shined during the 2021 playoffs. Lillard scored a playoff career-high of 55 points against the Denver Nuggets. This was coupled with an NBA playoff record of 12 made three-pointers. Further solidifying his legacy, Lillard became the first player in NBA history to have three career games boasting a performance of at least 60 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists. Moreover, his true shooting percentage in a 60-point game was a staggering .898.
A Legacy Beyond Basketball
Lillard’s prowess isn’t confined to just basketball. He’s also made a name for himself in the rap industry. His cousin, Brookfield Duece, an influential figure in the Oakland rap scene, significantly impacted Lillard’s rapping career. Lillard also started the “Four Bar Friday” trend on social media, encouraging participants to share a video of themselves rapping a short verse on Instagram.
Endorsements and Personal Life
Thanks to his remarkable reputation on and off the court, Lillard has been able to land several lucrative brand endorsement deals. His endorsements span across renowned brands like Spalding, Panini, Foot Locker, JBL, and Moda Health.
One of his most iconic moments came in 2014 during only his second professional season. With a mere 0.9 seconds left on the clock, Lillard scored a three-pointer, lifting the Blazers over the Rockets in the playoffs’ first round. His dedication to the sport and his team earned him a spot in the All-NBA First Team in 2018. He was also named to the Second Team four times (in 2016, 2019, 2020, and 2021) and the Third Team twice, in 2014 and 2023.
Beyond his professional achievements, Damian is a family man. He’s the proud father of three children, Damian Jr., and twins Kali and Kalil, with his long-time girlfriend, Kay’La Hanson.