Photo: Milwaukee Bucks/X

Damian Lillard provided insights into his budding rapport with Giannis Antetokounmpo, shedding light on the complexities of forging a strong bond between superstar teammates.

Lillard emphasized the importance of patience and shared experiences in nurturing genuine connections, highlighting the gradual nature of building relationships, especially in the high-stakes world of professional basketball.

“We have a good relationship,” Lillard told Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated. “We talk all the time. [Relationships] take time. You have to go through the process of having a relationship.”

Reflecting on his past experiences with teammates, Lillard stressed the need for mutual respect and understanding, emphasizing the value of authenticity and empathy in fostering meaningful friendships.

“David Vanterpool, he was our assistant in Portland for a long time. The same went for [Jusuf] Nurk [Nurkić], the same went for CJ [McCollum], it was progressive,” he said. “We just kind of eventually grew into that and I think the same goes with [Giannis].

“But because we are stars and we have to be able to work together and we have to continue to get better at it, everybody’s like, ‘We want y’all to be best friends right now.’ But I think the truth of it is you’re not going to become my best friend in three weeks. It’s going to take some time.

“Because I want to know who you really are. And when I do something you don’t like, how are you going to respect me and respond to me? And when I’m struggling, how are you going to act? And when I’m blossoming? That’s what friends are, like when you struggling, I know what you really are and what you really capable of and I believe it. That’s how you really develop that type of stuff.”