You’ve seen the video a million times by now. No, not just the unimaginable shot that Damian Lillard made to obliterate the Thunder’s souls. We’re talking about the little wave to the OKC bench right after, the perfect topper to a series that was defined by all the relentless trash talk and purported bad blood between these two teams.
Westbrook had been jawing at Lillard for five straight games. Actually, he’s been going at him for years, ever since Russ made some disparaging remarks toward Lillard after he complained about a previous All-Star snub. It all made it seem like these two genuinely dislike each other. That sort of thing is like a drug to basketball fiends, who couldn’t get enough.
So imagine our disappointment when Lillard said on the Dan Patrick Show on Friday that he and Russ are totally cool off the court and that the whole thing has been blown out of proportion. (Clip comes courtesy of AT&T AUDIENCE Network.)
Thankfully, Lillard was kind enough not to burst our bubbles until after it was all over and we had a chance to revel in what we believed to be the NBA’s best new rivalry.
Whether you buy it or not, we have to remember that the NBA is brotherhood, and two adult professionals are certainly capable of compartmentalizing their feelings when it comes to separating the business from the personal. That said, all the extracurricular stuff was one of the best parts of that series, and we’re here for more of it, real or manufactured.