On Tuesday night, Damian Lillard learned he was going to be a part of the NBA All-Star Game this season after getting snubbed last year. He was obviously thrilled to hear the news.
But what he wasn’t thrilled about were some comments Russell Westbrook made about him shortly after the All-Star reserves were announced. Westbrook was upset his teammate Paul George didn’t get an All-Star nod this season, so he threw shade at the four Warriors players who made the team as well as Lillard while speaking with reporters after a win over the Nets.
On Wednesday night, Lillard responded to that shade and said he was "disappointed" by it. Prior to the Trail Blazers game against the Timberwolves, Lillard told reporters he feels as though he deserved to make the team and didn’t deserve to get called out by Westbrook for doing it.
"I respect Russ a lot, so it was kind of disappointing to see him say that," Lillard said. "Because he’s played against me, he’s played against our team, he knows what I’ve accomplished. Not just this year, but over my career. So it was a little bit disappointing, but I know that I earned my spot this year. And that’s pretty much what it is: I earned my spot."
Lillard also spoke about Westbrook’s comments after scoring 31 points against Minnesota to lead Portland to a 123-114 win. He didn’t mince words as he once again let it be known that he feels he earned his spot on the All-Star team.
"I really don’t care what he said," Lillard said. "His word is not law. So it is what it is. The last thing I’ll say about that is the two years that I didn’t make it, I said that every guy that did make it was deserving because they were. I said, I just feel like I should’ve been there, but that was my way of handling it. If that’s how he feel, then that’s how he feel. You don’t have no loyalty towards me."
Lillard may not have liked what Westbrook said about him being named an All-Star, but George appreciated his teammate’s comments. On Wednesday, George went as far as to say that Westbrook coming to his defense will make his free agency decision "easier" this summer. He seemed to suggest it could give the Thunder a leg up in the race to sign him to a long-term deal.
The NBA All-Star Game will take place on Feb. 18.