Damian Lillard recalls being mesmerized by Michael Jordan’s presence at NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team gathering: “Dude’s the GOAT”

Damian Lillard was involved in one of the longest trade rumors throughout the entire offseason. Thankfully, he was traded in a blockbuster deal to the Milwaukee Bucks. The trade afforded Dame the opportunity to partner with one of the best players in the league, who is also a two-time MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The seven-time NBA All-Star, Damian Lillard, was privileged to be selected for the prestigious NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team and shared a mesmerizing moment during the event in the presence of an NBA icon.

Damian Lillard talks on meeting with Michael Jordan

In the 2022-23 NBA season, Damian Lillard earned a spot on the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team, standing alongside past and present basketball legends during the 2023 NBA All-Star Weekend in Cleveland, Ohio. As one of the youngest players on this esteemed list, the seven-time NBA All-Star created lasting memories that will stay with him forever.

Bucks Star Damian Lillard shared being mesmerized by Michael Jordan’s presence at NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team , amid affirming MJ's GOAT status
Damian Lillard Via Sport Illustrated

Reflecting on his NBA 75th Anniversary experience on the Knuckleheads podcast, hosted by former players Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles, Lillard recounted a notable moment involving Michael Jordan. He shared how, after the big picture session with all the stars and legends, they encountered MJ in the hallway, emphasizing that Jordan had just arrived and wasn’t present for the initial group photo. But when MJ walked inside, Dame recalled that all the cameras in the room were almost focused solely on Michael Jordan.   

Dame who experienced MJ live said, “He’s just walking and it’s more cameras on just him by himself than it is on all of us and it was like, that’s when you really saw the difference of like, this dude’s the GOAT. Like when he was walking, everybody was just staring at him. The top 74 was looking at him.”

In the interview, Lillard expressed his admiration for Jordan, citing the captivating presence the basketball legend had in the room filled with other great players. According to Lillard, this experience settles the longstanding barbershop debate about the greatest player of all time, with Michael Jordan’s ability to command attention in a room full of legends.

Damian Lillard’s performance after trade to Bucks

Many predict Damian Lillard’s trade to the Bucks as an opportunity for Damian to finally win a championship. After the first 14 games of the season, Damian Lillard’s presence in Milwaukee is beginning to show positive signs. The Bucks are on a winning streak, securing five consecutive victories leading up to their game against the Celtics on Nov. 22, elevating their record to 10-4.

Bucks Star Damian Lillard shared being mesmerized by Michael Jordan’s presence at NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team , amid affirming MJ's GOAT status
Damian Lillard Via ESPN

Lillard faced a challenging start to the year, with the first eight games seeing him average 22.8 points while shooting at 37 percent from the field and 27 percent from 3. However, being a skilled shooter, Lillard’s performance was bound to improve. In the last four games, all resulting in wins, he demonstrated a significant upturn, scoring an impressive 28.3 points with a shooting accuracy of 44 percent from the field and 43 percent from beyond the arc.

The initial struggles might have been attributed to Lillard adapting mentally to his role on a team alongside another dominant player, Giannis Antetokounmpo. In a recent statement as revealed by Athletic’s Eric Nehm, he acknowledged that he is handling his new role more effectively. The NBA community would definitely give Dame and Giannis a little more time to live up to the expectations. 

Shariare Hasib

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Shariare Hasib is an NBA Editor at SportsKnot. With a master's degree in journalism from a prestigious university, Shariare started writing about the sport during his undergraduate years. Since then, he has been fascinated by LeBron James' lasting impact as well as Stephen Curry's incredible consistency. He specializes in live basketball coverage. Apart from reporting on trade speculations and match updates during off-season activities, Shariare frequently interacts with fan communities to stay abreast of the constantly evolving NBA scene.


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