We real cool – Lillard plays down Westbrook feud
Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard insisted he is "real cool" with Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook, despite their clashes in the NBA playoffs.
Lillard and Westbrook have been at each other's throats in the Western Conference first-round series, which the Trail Blazers lead 2-1.
However, Lillard played down the ongoing feud with 2017 MVP Westbrook.
"The funny thing is, off the court, me and Russ is real cool," Lillard told The Oregonian on Saturday.
"I see Russ, he asks about the family, 'How is the family doing?' and all that. We actually cool.
"So, it's funny when they try to say me and Russ hate each other and all this stuff. It's not really like that. But it's something about when you get on the court, I guess."
The two guards are both gritty California natives and grew up just six hours away from each other.
They have had a few heated exchanges and showy celebrations through three games, and neither one seems to plan on backing down.
"He from the neighbourhood. I'm from the neighbourhood. Ain't going to be no getting talked to crazy, getting bullied. It's not gonna to work. It's just not gonna to happen," Lillard said.
Lillard has been phenomenal in the postseason this term, averaging 30.3 points and only trailing James Harden's average of 30.5.
His hot start alongside the help of his backcourt running mate CJ McCollum helped Portland out to a 2-0 lead over Oklahoma City.
Westbrook and the Thunder have battled shooting woes, but he exploded for 33 points and 11 rebounds to cut his team's deficit in Game 3.
"I haven't won a championship," Lillard said. "I haven't been an MVP. There are still things out there that I'm after. Obviously, if I don't get it last year, there are things I need to improve on. If I don't get it this year, there are things I need to improve on."
Game 4 will take place at Chesapeake Bay Arena in Oklahoma City on Sunday.