Damian Lillard Rebukes Idea He's Unhappy With Bucks Ahead of Playoff Opener

Apr 9, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard (0) warms up.
Apr 9, 2024; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard (0) warms up. / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

This has been an unusual season of discontent for the Milwaukee Bucks.

On the one hand, the Bucks went 49–33 this year. That will play in most jurisdictions (even if it is their lowest winning percentage since 2018). On the other, Milwaukee was a disjointed mess at times—particularly on defense.

And there were the personnel changes. Three different coaches led the Bucks this season due to Adrian Griffin's Jan. 23 firing. Guard Damian Lillard's scoring dropped precipitously after Milwaukee acquired him from the Portland Trail Blazers on Sept. 27.

On Friday, ahead of the Bucks' playoff opener against the Indiana Pacers Sunday, Lillard slammed the door on suggestions that he was unhappy with Milwaukee.

“I saw somebody say 'Dame’s not happy in Milwaukee' or something like that," Lillard said. "And I know the truth. I love the situation that I’m in. I also know what I have going on outside of basketball that... drains me at times."

Lillard is seeking an elusive first NBA title; the furthest he advanced with the Trail Blazers was to the Western Conference finals in 2019, where the Golden State Warriors swept Portland.

"People are gonna make comments. People are gonna say things," Lillard said. "It's important to let (people) say whatever they'e gonna say, positive or negative, and just do what you gotta do."


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Patrick Andres

PATRICK ANDRES

Patrick Andres has been a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated since 2022. Before SI, his work appeared in The Blade, Athlon Sports, Fear the Sword, and Diamond Digest. Patrick has covered everything from zero-attendance Big Ten basketball to a seven-overtime college football game. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.