Central Oregon basketball fans react to Damian Lillard trade to Bucks


Former Portland Trail Blazer Damian Lillard is now a Milwaukee Buck. It’s the news fans have been expecting and dreading simultaneously.

“It’s been exciting, to say the least,” said fan Sione Leibner. “He’s one of the most clutch NBA players I’ve ever had to watch.”

Dame Time is no more in the city of Roses.

“Man, that’s, it’s an end of an era for Trail Blazers,” said fan Henry Chaikin.

Lillard leaves Portland after 11 seasons in which he made seven All-Star and All-NBA teams and led the franchise to the playoffs eight times.

The Trail Blazers have traded its franchise player to the Milwaukee Bucks to play with NBA champion and two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.

RELATED: It’s been great, Dame! Lillard traded from Portland to Milwaukee

“I think it’s going be a good fit,” said fan Zachary Elliot. “Giannis can really do everything but shoot threes, and they got a guy who can do who can really, really shoot threes. The reason Portland didn’t really work out is because they didn’t have that defense behind them down low, and now they have the best guy in the world at that.”

The franchise’s leading scorer left this message on social media shortly after the trade.

It says, “The casuals won’t be addressed, but the Trailblazer’s fans and city of Portland that I love truly will be … and they will be addressed truthfully. Stay tuned Excited for my next chapter!”

“I go back and forth between being someone who appreciates loyalty in the NBA and wants these guys to win,” said Elliot.

Despite the heartbreak, some fans look toward the future as the Blazers build their young core.

“I think it’s an exciting start for the Blazers and a good opportunity to get a new star player that we can root for, and I think it’s beneficial for both the Blazers and the team he goes to,” said Leibner.

Others are just hoping the man who brought so many fans to their feet with long shots and buzzer-beaters gets the sunset ending he’s desperately searching for
“I’d like to see him get a ring because he deserves this,” said Chaikin.

The trade is a three-team deal that sends Jrue Holiday from the Bucks to Portland, Deandre Ayton from Phoenix to Portland, and Jusuf Nurkic from the Blazers to the Suns.

Portland also receives a 2029 first-round pick and the right to swap first-round picks in 2028 and 2030.


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