HealthSportsVideo: Blazers Fans Give Bucks' Damian Lillard Standing Ovation in Return to...

Video: Blazers Fans Give Bucks’ Damian Lillard Standing Ovation in Return to Portland

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekX.com LogoFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 1, 2024

PORTLAND, OREGON - JANUARY 31: Damian Lillard #0 of the Milwaukee Bucks reacts toward fans before his return against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center on January 31, 2024 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Damian Lillard is no longer a member of the Portland Trail Blazers, but he is still a franchise legend.

And the fans at Moda Center reacted accordingly during his first return to Portland as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday by giving him a rousing ovation when he was introduced as part of the visitors’ starting lineup:

NBA @NBA

Damian Lillard receives an ovation from Rip City in his return to Portland ❤️👏

Trail Blazers-Bucks | LIVE on ESPN pic.twitter.com/HFjFhcRcS9

He was appreciative of the reception and even gave the crowd a thumbs up.

It was exactly what he expected.

“I expect it to be a lot of love, honestly,” he told reporters before the game. “I’ve always had a great relationship with the city and a great relationship with the fans. I don’t see that changing at all. We had a lot of great times, a lot of high moments, and we’ve shared some low moments. We was always in the fight. We always had sell out crowds, and I showed up and did what I needed to do, every night.”

Portland selected Lillard with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft, and he played the first 11 seasons of his career for the team. He was a seven-time All-NBA selection, seven-time All-Star, Rookie of the Year and member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team during his time with the Trail Blazers.

He also became the franchise’s all-time leading scorer and was known for delivering in the clutch moments as the city fell in love with him.

While he is now being greeted as a visitor, don’t rule out a potential comeback down the line.

After all, he told reporters before the game he always felt his career would end wearing a Trail Blazers uniform.

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