The Trail Blazers 1-2 punch wouldn’t be the same, however, if Lillard and McCollum didn’t have a mutual compromise to always serve it up straight to the other. “I would naturally think of his opinion and what he says to me, you know, on a different level,” Lillard explained. “We’ve had that agreement since my fourth year, in his third year, when we started in the backcourt together that, I’m gonna hear you out. You yell at me, I’m gonna hear you out. You cuss me out, I’m gonna hear you out. You demand something of me, I’m gonna hear you out.”
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“There’s been times where he’s like D, shoot the f***ing ball, stop doing this, stop doing that, and I be like alright, or he’ll yell at me from the bench, or I’ll yell at him,” Lillard said. “Like C, in transition, you got to see me on the opposite side. He be like alright, I got you, and it’s a situation like that. “We agreed that we would have that type of like acceptance, I guess, in our interactions and what the other would have to say. I haven’t gone back on it and neither has he.”
Whether their relationship and their joint job security translate to meaningful victories and status among the Trail Blazers’ hierarchy remains to be seen. They do not yet have the resume of the Blazers’ most accomplished tandem — Terry Porter and Clyde Drexler — but it’s clear the table has been set for what could be a prolific run. “It’s a special time,” McCollum said Tuesday, hours after his extension leaked. “(He and Lillard) talked about being in Portland, making a staple here and winning a championship here, and all those things. We’ve crossed off a lot of goals individually and collectively, but I think that both of us being here for the long haul, and both of us being able to grow together and win together is something that people will remember for a long time.”
“You heard it all the time — that they can’t win with Dame and CJ,” said Eric Goodwin, whose company represents Lillard. “But I don’t believe that for a second. For one, I think you need a Robin to every Batman. And you can have two guys who can score … but if they had one more player who was a play-maker — a Draymond Green-type player — this team would be scary good. “But these guys make sure it’s a team,” Goodwin said. “The whole idea of the team has become fraggled these days. It’s, ‘let’s get the best players together and now we have a team’ … that’s not a real team. A real team goes through ups and downs together. And this whole summer, these two guys had getting swept looming over their heads.
Joe Freeman: Damian Lillard on the narrative that he and CJ McCollum need to be split up: “I don’t agree with it. I think it’s that simple. I think it’s the easiest thing to say. I don’t agree with it.”
Joe Freeman: CJ McCollum on the narrative that he and Damian Lillard need to be separated for the Blazers to win at a high level: “People have to write about something. That’s a good narrative …”
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April 19, 2021 | 7:31 am EDT Update
Chema de Lucas: Mike James will play with the Brooklyn Nets until the end of the season. Immediate incorporation. Nets interest in the CSKA Moscow player was first reported by @Eurohoopsnet.
Reigning EuroLeague scoring champion Mike James has emerged as a candidate to sign with the Brooklyn Nets, Eurohoops has learned via a source. James was suspended indefinitely by CSKA Moscow in late March following an incident with team head coach Dimitris Itoudis and has headed back to his native United States. UPDATE: He will join the Nets, according to Chema de Lucas.
Hasheem Thabeet is looking to make an NBA comeback, his agent Jerry Dianis told me on Saturday. The 7’3″ big-man just won MVP honors while playing in Taiwan for the Hsinchu JKO Lioneers. “Bottom line Hasheem Thabeet was given a opportunity, and he killed it,” Dianis told me. “MVP performance with career highs in points, rebounds, minutes played, assists and steals. Thabeet averaged 18.3 points, 14.3 rebounds and 3.3 blocks per game.
“With the recent conclusion of his season in Taiwan, Hasheem is an unrestricted free agent,” Dianis added. “He is in the best shape of his life as certified by his recent MVP performance. Hasheem looks forward to helping an NBA team that needs his athleticism and size off the bench. I have no doubt Hasheem will be inundated with worldwide opportunities.”
Marc Stein: The Lakers continue to list Anthony Davis as out for Monday’s home date with Utah. So Davis’ return to the lineup likely comes Thursday or Saturday in Dallas against a Mavs team that has lost four straight at home … including tonight after the Kings had lost nine in a row. pic.twitter.com/76TPnvFZ7w
Dave McMenamin: The Lakers have officially ruled out Anthony Davis on Monday vs. UTA, which means his return will likely come on the road with the Lakers having an upcoming four-game trip starting Thursday in Dallas.
Tim MacMahon: Luka Doncic says energy is an issue for the slumping Mavs. How do you fix that? “I don’t know, but all I know is it’s got to start with me,” he said. “I’ve got to do way better, keeping guys motivated. It starts with me.”