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Giannis Antetokounmpo and Dame Lillard to make debut together in preseason game vs. Lakers

Media Day Bucks Basketball
Posted at 2:58 PM, Oct 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-12 15:58:49-04

MILWAUKEE — Giannis Antetokounmpo and Dame Lillard will make their debut together this Sunday in Milwaukee’s preseason game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Arena.

That's according to Bucks coach Adrian Griffin. He announced the news on Wednesday on NBA Today.

"We want to see them out there in live competitive play," Griffin said. "It's an exciting time for us, but it's a process and we're taking it step by step."

Trail Blazers Bucks Basketball
Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard(0) drives against Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo(34) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)

The two Bucks stars sat out the team's first two preseason games. However, according to ESPN, Antetokounmpo and Lillard have both practiced together.

Griffin expects a learning curve, stating, "Our practices are extremely competitive, so we've had the chance to match them up. They haven't disappointed. The more we can get them playing together, the better."

Milwaukee acquired Portland Trail Blazers point guard Lillard, sending Jrue Holiday in return, just a week before training camp.

Antetokounmpo gave his reaction in an article by Bleacher Report. The Greek Freak said, "It's a bittersweet day for the city of Milwaukee. You get Dame, who is a great player, but you lose a great guy. Jrue took us to the promised land. I'm 10 years in now. I know it's a business. At the end of the day, Jrue will always be my brother for life. He's one of the best human beings I've been around. But we've got to focus on the goal to win the championship. Dame wants this. He's hungry to win, and he's going to push us. I'm very happy to have him on our team."

Bleacher Report says when the deal was announced, Lillard received a text from Giannis that said, "Let's get this [explicit] championship."

Less than 24 hours after the deal went down, fans were packing the Bucks Pro Shop at Fiserv Forum, grabbing jerseys bearing the name of the newest Buck. To say they're excited would be an understatement.