“Team Chemistry -25”: Damian Lillard Excluding Giannis Antetokounmpo From His Dream Starting 5 Has NBA Fans Chirping

Advait Jajodia

During a promotional event for his shoes, Nelson Neumann, a content creator who goes by the name “The Prodigy”, asked Damian Lillard to reveal his dream starting five among the active players in the league. As surprising as it sounds, Dame excluded Giannis Antetokounmpo from the list. This has caused NBA X to erupt with various reactions, calling Lillard out for not being a good teammate.

Usually, players have to scratch their heads and give it a good thought before naming their Mt. Rushmore, all-time top five, dream starting five, or any such list. However, Damian Lillard instantly gave out an answer, almost seeming as if he was prepared for the question.

During what seemed to be a promotional event for the launch of his new signature shoes, Dame 9, Lillard revealed his dream starting five, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Bam Adebayo, and himself.

When asked, “If you could create your own starting five, what’s your team?” Dame replied, “It would be me, LeBron, Steph, Kevin Durant, and I’m gonna go with Bam Adebayo.”

Loading embed tweet https://twitter.com/ClutchPoints/status/1759744917998383518?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

As soon as the clip went viral on social media, NBA X ripped apart the 33-year-old for his response. According to fans, Lillard didn’t honor his role of a good teammate by excluding Giannis Antetokounmpo from the list.

Loading embed tweet https://twitter.com/QueHYO/status/1759745195376042199?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Loading embed tweet https://twitter.com/KevinOConnorNBA/status/1759748389644943602?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Loading embed tweet https://twitter.com/RealEDM__/status/1759745328436154748?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Even if Giannis wasn’t Dame’s teammate, being one of the best players in the league, he certainly deserves a spot on every starting five list. In this case, Lillard could’ve easily selected the Greek Freak over Bam Adebayo. However, it could be possible that the eight-time All-Star interpreted the question differently and believed that it was supposed to exclude players with whom he already shares the locker room.

Damian Lillard previously mentioned the possibility of teaming up with Giannis Antetokounmpo

Long before Damian Lillard made his way to co-lead the Milwaukee Bucks alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, on several occasions, he expressed his desire of wanting to share the court with the latter.

Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

While both players have often displayed admiration for each other, Dame first brought up the possibility of playing with the two-time MVP in 2022. Answering a fan’s question on X (formerly Twitter), the then-Portland Trail Blazers star named Giannis Antetokounmpo as the one player that he would pick to “get into the finals”.

Loading embed tweet https://twitter.com/Dame_Lillard/status/1525906892878254080?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Almost a year after this tweet, Dame was acquired by the Bucks. However, the dynamic duo of Lillard and Antetokounmpo have failed to live up to the hype. Shaquille O’Neal has been one of the well-wishers, who wants to see the Bucks succeed. Following the All-Star Game, the TNT analyst gave out some words of encouragement to the star point guard.

Loading embed tweet https://twitter.com/NBATV/status/1759433730052038755?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Even though the two were named as the 2024 All-Star starters, the Bucks aren’t performing as well as everyone projected them to. 56 games into the campaign, the Wisconsin side is placed merely 3rd in the East, sitting 8.5 games behind the table leader, Boston Celtics. Grabbing the 1st spot in the East seems to be out of the picture. However, fans would love to see Doc Rivers’ boys perform better as the second half of the season begins soon.

Post Edited By:Hitesh Nigam

Share this article

About the author

Advait Jajodia

Advait Jajodia

Advait Jajodia, a seasoned NBA journalist, has had a passion for the game for over a decade. His journey from admiring Kobe Bryant's precision to being in awe of Stephen Curry's long-range mastery instilled a profound understanding of basketball. With a background as a two-time National-level player, Advait uses his experience on the hardwood to offer insightful analysis. Over three years of dedicated sports journalism has equipped the 21-year-old with a unique perspective, reflected in his prolific portfolio of 3,200+ articles.

Read more from Advait Jajodia