Los Angeles (AFP) – Portland Trail Blazers star player Damian Lillard is leaving his longtime franchise to join Greek Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks, he said on Wednesday.
Published on: 09/27/2023 – 10:57 p.m. Modified on: 09/27/2023 – 10:55 p.m.
“Looking forward to opening a new chapter! @Bucks,” Lillard wrote on X (ex-Twitter) confirming information given by several media including ESPN.
“Trailblazers fans and the city of Portland, whom I love deeply, will be sincerely honored. Stay tuned,” adds the player, seven times selected to the All-Star Game.
Lillard (33) had indicated in July his desire to leave Portland, showing a preference for the Miami Heat, but ultimately landed at the Bucks, less than a month before the start of the 2023-2024 season.
He will form a star duo with Giannis Antetokounmpo, twice elected best player (MVP) of the regular season (2019 and 2020) and crowned champion in 2021.
Antetokounmpo put pressure on his franchise in July, explaining that he would not sign a contract extension if he was not convinced that his team would remain competitive in chasing the NBA title.
In a usual three-cushion game in the NBA, Lillard’s departure involves player exchanges between Portland, Milwaukee and also the Phoenix Suns. The Trail Blazers notably welcome Jrue Holiday and Deandre Ayton.
A very skilled shooter and compulsive scorer, renowned for his composure during the final seconds of very close matches, Lillard averaged 32.2 points and 7.3 assists in 58 matches last year, but missed qualification in play- offs for the second consecutive season.
© 2023 AFP
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