Damian Lillard is no stranger to jersey swaps.
We've seen them before: Postgame jersey swaps show appreciation for a player's long career, for family, collegiate ties. They're symbolic. But, Damian Lillard's jersey swap on Sunday night at the Moda Center after the Trail Blazers overtime win over the Hawks was the possibly the most meaningful one.
As fans were filing out of the arena, Lillard walked across the court and pulled the jersey off his back. There, he met U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Michael Ramage, who spent three tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.
"He DM'd me on Instagram one day, and it just happened to catch my attention," Lillard told NBCSNW postgame. "I agreed to it."
Jersey swaps are sacred. They're held in great honor. A sign of respect. Lillard last swapped jerseys with Dwyane Wade during his farewell season. So, this one, which occurred on Military Appreciation Night, the day before Veterans Day...
"It was fitting."