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#pounditWednesday, November 25, 2020

CJ McCollum: ‘There’s no animosity’ in Blazers locker room

CJ McCollum is trying his best to be the Portland’s “This Is Fine” dog.

In an appearance on The Vertical Podcast with Chris Mannix this week, McCollum shot down rumors of supposed tension in the Blazers’ locker room.

“We’ve got a tight-knit group, there’s a lot of young guys who are on the same career trajectory, so we all get along well,” McCollum said, per Casey Holdahl of the team’s official website. “Everybody still hangs out together, there’s no animosity in the locker room, there’s no hate, there’s no jealousy. Everybody just works hard, so when we see that stuff it’s baffling because we’re living the same way we were last year.

“Guys are still doing the same stuff, they’re still working hard, they’re still trying to figure things out,” continued the reigning NBA Most Improved Player. “It’s tough when you lose games and there’s high expectations and you’re not performing the way you’d like to, but at some point you have to change and your work ethic has to change and the results will change.”

McCollum’s comments come just days after reports emerged that he shut down an attempt by injured center Festus Ezeli to lecture the team after a loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in December.

The Blazers are currently just 16-23 on the year, so something is clearly rotten in the state of Oregon. But it sounds like the root of the issue may be wonky roster construction and a summer of ill-advised spending rather than any sort of internal strife.

Image Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

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