The funniest beef in the NBA going on right now took a HUGE turn last night. For those who caught the tail end of this on Twitter last night (more on this later), I’m going to give a handy timeline for you.
Let’s rewind all the way back to May 2nd 2014, Blazers vs Rockets, Game 6. Portland was up 3-2 even though they were underdogs in the series. With 0.9 seconds remaining in regulation and the Rockets leading 98-96, the Blazers needed a miracle to tie or win the game with so few ticks left on the clock. So they set up an inbounds play in which Damian Lillard curled off a screen, clapped for the ball, caught it, and elevated for the shot before time expired and … BOOM. James Harden, professional pest Patrick Beverly and the rest of the Rockets got sent home packing.
Then, in 2019, the Blazers were matched up in the first round against Oklahoma City, and again, were significant underdogs. At this point, there was a long standing “thing” between Russell Westbrook and Damian Lillard, probably dating back to when Russ alleged to the media that Damian Lillard whined his way into making the All Star team in 2018 after a series of snubs.
The first back and forth between the two in person happened when Russ yelled at Dame “I’ve been busting that ass for years,” when Dame stepped to the free-throw line during a late January game in 2019 against the Thunder. Those words essentially gave birth to the rivalry.
And after that, Dame and Russ were must-see TV. So to see them matched up against one another in the playoffs was exciting to say the least. But this isn’t about Russ, this is about Paul Pandemic P George. Game 5, after being down 15 (no surprise) Dame and co. clawed back. Game is now tied and with 10 seconds left, Dame seemed to take his time around half court with Paul George giving him space. 2 seconds left. Still dribbling. BANG. Step back 37 footer. And in true Dame fashion, he waved OKC goodbye in one of the most iconic moments in recent Blazer memory.
But after the game, Paul George dismissed Lillard’s shot not as skill but essentially as luck. “That’s a bad shot, I don’t care what anyone says,” he said.
“For him to say that’s a bad shot, that’s just kind of being a poor sport,” Lillard said. “If anything, it was bad defense, because I had the ball in my hands with two seconds, and I wasn’t going to drive, so maybe he should’ve just bodied up.”
The next stage of the beef took place, not surprisingly, in the Bubble.
Do you remember, the 8th night of
When Damian Lillard missed two crucial free throws and Patrick Beverly cackled “Dame Time?” and “Cancun on 3” with the joy of Skip Bayless rattling off a terrible take? What about AFTER the game, when Dame said that he not only sent Paul George home last year with his 3 pointer from outer space and broke up the OKC franchise but also Pat Beverly with a game winner against Houston?
And most importantly, when Paul George and Dame went back and forth on Instagram of all places, culminating in Paul George responding to Lillard’s presser with “And you getting sent home this year. Respect.”
You remember all that?
I do. But it’s not just me that has this day indelible in my hippocampus, CJ McCollum remembers too.
After the Clippers ate shit and blew a 3-1 lead to the Nuggets, CJ took to Twitter in a storm.
That’s what you call putting someone in a body bag. And it’s a lesson for anyone, especially Paul George aka side of the backboard, Pandemic P, never bring a knife to a gunfight.
CANCUN ON THREEE!!!