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#pounditSunday, January 24, 2021

Report: Frustrated Blazers told Festus Ezeli to cut out team meetings

Things are not going well in Portland.

The struggling Trail Blazers are 15-21 after a summer of high hopes and expectations, and that frustration has spilled over into the locker room.

Center Festus Ezeli has been something of a focal point. Ezeli was signed for two years and $15.2 million in the offseason, but knee problems have prevented him from playing a single game for the team. His attempts to take an active role in the locker room have not gone down well.

According to Chris Haynes of ESPN, on Dec. 7, after a 115-107 loss to Milwaukee, Ezeli addressed the team in street clothes about playing with added urgency. Another loss the next night to Memphis prompted another attempt at an Ezeli speech, but he was cut off by C.J. McCollum. Blazers players were frustrated with losing despite their efforts, and were not receptive to motivational speeches from someone who wasn’t even playing.

The frustration has been obvious, and players have not been afraid to voice it publicly. They have such talent, particularly in the backcourt, but a lack of quality frontcourt players has been a huge problem. Things don’t seem to be going much better behind closed doors.

H/T Deadspin

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