New York Yankees: Aaron Judge receives glowing compliment by NBA Star Damien Lillard

Alexander Wilson
New York Yankees, Aaron Judge
Oct 9, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) before game four of the 2018 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees‘ slugger Aaron Judge receives an excellent compliment from NBA Star Damien Lillard.

When one of the best players in any given sports compliments you, it’s probably best to listen and take it seriously. Yankees’ Aaron Judge was called “the next Derek Jeter,” by Lillard on “The Huddle,” an Adidas live chat on Instagram.

“He paved the way for sure,” Judge said. “That’s the thing that I’ve been fortunate to be with the Yankees, the legends we have coming in and out of the building during spring training, during the season, just checking in. The Jeters, the Mariano Riveras, Andy Pettitte, Ron Guidry, all those guys. Reggie Jackson. It’s no joke, man. You feel that presence.

Being a Yankee is special for many reasons, but being connected to past greats is undoubtedly one of them. Judge has the opportunity to develop into a player that future Bombers endear and rave about.

“As a player I want to be that same presence. I want to set that path for the guys coming up behind me that are in rookie ball, that are in low-A. ‘Hey, this is how we do things here. If you want to win, you want to be champions, you have to put the team first, you play hard every day and you do it for the team.’”

Injuries have played a significant part in Judge’s short career so far, as 2017 was his only predominantly healthy campaign. He suffered a stress fractured on a rib last Septmeber attempting a diving catch, which also resulted in a collapsed lung, which was only diagnosed a few weeks ago. Luckily, he seems to be progressing nicely through his recovery process, which is a great sign for the Bombers, who desperately need a healthy season out of arguably their best player.

Leading his team to a World Series would undoubtedly land him closer to “legend” status, but he has a long way to go before he can be considered in the same category as Jeter.