It should come as no surprise that Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum isn’t a big fan of the Golden State Warriors, and particularly the superstars who choose to play for them.
After DeMarcus Cousins took a one-year deal to join the Warriors, McCollum told China Central Television and said he would never join the cavalcade of stars who join the Warriors for a short time to win a championship.
CJ McCollum went on @CCTV and said that star players joining the Warriors is 'disgusting' and 'I would never do that'
The Golden State Warriors and the Portland Trail Blazers are getting a head start on the hostilities three months before the NBA season.
Warriors forward Kevin Durant appeared this week in an episode of Blazers guard CJ McCollum’s podcast “Pull Up” that aired on Wednesday. One of the most notable moments came when Durant clowned McCollum over Portland getting swept in the playoffs by the New Orleans Pelicans and teased him over Golden State’s signing of DeMarcus Cousins this summer as well. Durant also bluntly told McCollum that the Blazers were not going to win a championship.
Kevin Durant straight up laughed at the Blazers getting swept and Boogie signing with Golden State to CJ McCollum on CJ’s own podcast.
While McCollum would not condone the language, he did reply to Katz’s tweet by reiterating how soft he thought that Durant’s decision to join the Warriors back in 2016 was and drew a comparison to a street fight.
I still think the b word is harsh and shouldn’t be used. . He know that decision was soft but I respect it. It’s like getting jumped with ur brothers by a gang you should’ve beat then joining the gang that jumped u and ur brothers 2 months later & forgetting about your bros https://t.co/BFGqQy1lwR
“So I would get into a gang, fight, lose, plot on my brother for 2 months in our home and then go get the gang we lost to and beat him up?” the reigning back-to-back Finals MVP wrote. “U think that low of me CJ? I just did your f—in podcast. Snakes in the grass boy I tell ya.”
While it’s possible that the two stars were just drumming up publicity for their podcast episode, it’s not too far-fetched to think that Durant was legitimately bothered by what McCollum tweeted. After all, we have already seen him respond to social media criticism elsewhere this summer.
If Bryan Colangelo did, in fact, criticize Joel Embiid and other members of the Philadelphia 76ers organization in tweets from secret accounts, C.J. McCollum is ready to capitalize on the fallout.
Not long after The Ringer’s bombshell report about Colangelo dropped, Embiid reacted in his typically light-hearted fashion with a couple funny tweets of his own. In response to one of those tweets, McColloum appeared to be recruiting Embiid to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Embiid signed a $148 million extension with the 76ers last year, so the only way he is going anywhere would be via trade. We all know that isn’t going to happen, so McCollum was just getting in on the fun.
For what it’s worth, Colangelo contacted Embiid about the alleged tweets and Embiid says he believes the Sixers general manager that he is not responsible for them unless it is proven otherwise. That hasn’t stopped Colangelo from being ruthlessly mocked on the internet, and we can expect that to continue going forward.
“Cleveland is one of the worst defensive teams I’ve ever played against, honestly,” he said in a segment on the Eastern Conference Finals. “I think it’s just the spacing, they have a lot of different players on their roster throughout the season, so terminology’s not the same, the continuity isn’t always there.
“Think about how many players they’ve had on their roster the last three or four years,” McCollum continued. “They’re literally in and out, new guys every year. So it’s hard to be on a string and be united as one when you have all that uncertainty: ‘Hey, if things don’t go well, I might get shipped out.’ So I think that’s one of the reasons why their defense has been up and down. But then when it’s time to lock in and focus on one team, they’re a lot better.”
Indeed, the Cavs finished the regular season ranked 29th in the NBA in defensive rating (behind only the league-worst Phoenix Suns) and are by far the worst in that metric among the remaining teams this postseason. McCollum meanwhile averaged 24.0 points per game (up from his season-average of 21.0) in two games against Cleveland during the season.
As the former Most Improved Player hinted at though, the Cavs do a good job of turning up the heat defensively against one opponent in the playoffs, and that has helped put them within two wins of the fourth straight Finals berth. Still, sequences like this do help illustrate McCollum’s greater point.
CJ McCollum obviously wasn’t in the best mood after getting swept by the New Orleans Pelicans, and one of his local writers didn’t help matters any.
The Portland Trail Blazers guard was involved in a scrap in the second quarter of Saturday’s season-ending loss to New Orleans when he committed a hard foul on Pelicans counterpart E’Twaun Moore. Some words and shoving ensued, and McCollum was whistled for a flagrant 1 foul on the play.
Shortly afterwards, basketball writer Jason Quick, who covers the Blazers for NBC Sports Northwest, sent a tweet about the “frustration” foul and said that McCollum had “always bordered on cheap and dirty.” Here is a screenshot of the tweet, which has since been deleted.
The damage was done however, as McCollum soon responded to Quick’s “apology” and called him out for disrespecting his character in the first place. The former Most Improved Player also added a stinging reference to how Quick was always trying to get quotes from him for a story.
A lion doesn’t concern itself with the opinion of sheep. However don’t disrespect my character. You said what you said and you meant it. Have that same energy next time you want to write a story or get a quote from the one who has “always bordered cheap and dirty” https://t.co/E2kwgs5wVK
New Orleans Pelicans guards Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo put the Portland Trail Blazers to the sword in Tuesday night’s Game 2 of the Western Conference quarterfinals, and it sounds like the Blazers should have seen it coming.
Holiday led the charge, dropping 33 on the Blazers, while Rondo, not known for his three-point shooting, made two of them, including a backbreaker in the final minute to more or less seal the game for the Pelicans.
It didn’t take long for a pair of years-old tweets from Blazers guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum to surface that seemed quite clairvoyant.
You can't win when Rondo making treys and free throws.
There is one bit of ecletic wisdom that has truly stuck with me over the years. Perhaps it is from the Bible. Perhaps it is advice that was given to me by my fifth-grade teacher. Or perhaps I once saw it tattooed on Nick Young’s left arm. In any case however, it is an adage that has helped guide me through times of uncertainty, self-doubt, and offensive stagnancy alike, and it is this: [clears throat for dramatic emphasis] … shooters shoot. Yes, this is the foundational principle upon which I choose to live my life, and here are the NBA players who best embody it in its purest and most unadulterated form.
*Stats courtesy of NBA.com and Basketball Reference*
10. Jodie Meeks, SG, Washington Wizards
The veteran sharpshooter missed 125 games over the past two seasons due to injury, but let’s not forget what he’s capable of when healthy. Whether he’s hedgehogging around screens or springing free for spot-up opportunities, Meeks changes the geometry of the court as defenses contort to cover him. His reputation has been well-earned. A 2013-14 season where he netted 2.1 treys a night for the LA Lakers on 40.1 percent shooting offered a window into his upside, and it’s only a matter of time before he recovers his pre-injury form now that he is playing with a world-class creator like John Wall in Washington. Blessed is the Meeks, for he shall inherit the earth.