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.
“I would never do anything of that nature,” McCollum said. “That’s disgusting. I’m not built like those guys. I was raised differently.
“I think some players will take that route, but most guys have too much pride, want to really win on their own or in their certain organizations and aren’t going to just jump the bandwagon.”
McCollum’s opinions will come as no surprise. He got into it on Twitter with one Warriors star who took that route, so it’s pretty clear where he stands on this.
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.
Dan Katz of Barstool Sports (better known as “Big Cat”) tweeted at McCollum in response to the clip and asked for permission to call Durant the B word.
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.
Durant obviously did not appreciate McCollum’s tweet and fired back at him with a profane tweet of his own.
“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.
The Cleveland Cavaliers haven’t exactly been a defensive juggernaut this season, but one star player thinks that they are historically bad on that end.
Speaking during an episode of his “Pull Up” podcast on Tuesday, Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum put the Cavs’ defensive woes in perspective.
“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.
H/T NBA Reddit
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.
Hours later, Quick admitted to deleting the tweet and offered a retraction.
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.
McCollum, 26, has always been for holding the media accountable, and Portland’s disappointing first-round sweep at the hands of a lower seed provided the perfect storm for him to put Quick in his place here.
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.
Accurate on both counts. Holiday even has ownership of the Blazers now. Portland is down 2-0 and will need to win one on the road just to avoid being swept.
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.
9. Joe Ingles, SF, Utah Jazz
C.J. McCollum has been suspended for the first game of 2017-2018 season as a result of his actions during a preseason game.
During a game between the Blazers and Suns, McCollum left the bench during an altercation, which carries a one-game suspension. Below is the statement from the NBA.
McCollum won the NBA’s Most Improved Player Award in 2016 and followed that up with the best season of his career last year. In 80 games, McCollum averaged 23 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game.
C.J. McCollum wants to turn the tables on reporters and start ranking them the way they do with players.
McCollum, the Portland Trail Blazers guard, sent a tweet about the matter on Tuesday evening.
“We need to start ranking these weak a– journalist. With descriptions of their strengths, weaknesses and ability to make up “sources”,” McCollum wrote on Twitter, though his tweet was edited to remove profanity.
It’s unclear exactly what had McCollum bothered. It could be the SI Top 100 NBA players ranking list, which had McCollum at No. 39. If so, he wouldn’t be the first player to complain about it, as we already heard from DeMar DeRozan about the subject. On the other hand, his mention of “sources” could be a response to some bogus reporting he recently saw.
McCollum should get cracking on his list while he has time during the offseason.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum are cooking up some juicy Western Conference drama, it seems.
On Monday, McCollum tweeted the latest installment of his viral video series “Law and Order: CJ’s Victims Unit,” which features clips of him victimizing a certain player or team for the week. This time around, it was the Mavs’ turn.
The video wound up getting the attention of Cuban, who called out McCollum for conveniently spotlighting the two meetings between the teams last season that the Blazers won rather than the two meetings that the Mavs won.
Cuban is known to be rather hostile when it comes to Dallas’ opponents, but perhaps he should lighten up a bit here and let sleeping tweets lie.