Damian Lillard is one of the more likable players in the NBA today. He generally gets along with most.
So when he has a problem with someone, you know that person has some issues.
One player Lillard doesn’t seem particularly fond of?
Newly-acquired Washington Wizards sharpshooter, Jordan Poole.
“I really didn’t pay attention to him until maybe like two years ago,” Lillard told Colin Cowherd during an interview.
“We played against Golden State, and Steph was hurt, Draymond was hurt. We was playing against them, and he wasn’t playing a lot of minutes, but he like did a move, and he like scored on me.
“He hit a shot, he hit a three, and he started talking s**t. And I was like, ‘I don’t talk s**t. I don’t say nothing, I just play. If somebody say something to me, I’ll say something back, but whatever.”
Lillard didn’t stop there.
“He said something, so I looked back, like what? I think I had like 40, but we lost at Golden State. Towards the end of the first half or whatever, I’m at the free throw line, and he’s just back there talking.
“So I turn to him, and I’m like, ‘Man, shut the f**k, like shut up. He was like, ‘Make me.’ So, my natural instinct was like, ‘Bro, I train in combat. I’m from Oakland. That was my natural. So, we start going back-and-forth.”
Lillard wound up getting some level of revenge on Poole, though.
“And then, like shortly after, we played them on MLK Day in Portland,” Lillard continued.
“And he was on the bench, and I started the game real slow. He’s on the bench, and he says, ‘Oh, he ain’t on s**t tonight.’ So I turn and look at him.
“Draymond is sitting next to him, and me and Draymond is real cool. In that game, I end up scoring 60 points, and we beat them in Portland, and I just remember telling Draymond, ‘Man, I don’t mess with that dude like that, like I don’t like him.'”
Pole has a tendency to rub folks the wrong way, so none of this should come as a huge surprise.
Vanessa is having herself quite the vacation. https://t.co/M6SXdUoxLO
— Game 7 (@game7__) July 11, 2023
That said, if even Lillard had an issue with him, you know Poole has some stuff he needs to work out.
Will Poole’s attitude improve now that he has his own team in the Wizards? Will his relationship with Lillard become more positive going forward? An answer to both those questions will ultimately emerge next season.