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Damian Lillard And CJ McCollum Friendship Extends Beyond Basketball Court

Lillard and McCollum are one of the highest scoring backcourt duos in the NBA. Their chemistry off the court contributes to their in-game success.

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

The success of the Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum as the NBA's second-highest scoring back court can be traced to a friendship between the two that began in 2013, when Lillard was a rookie in Portland and McCollum was a senior at Lehigh. CSNNW's Jason Quick outlines how that relationship has helped the young duo on and off the court, and what sparked the initial conversation before the two ever knew they would be teammates.

"When you have a relationship off the court, you mesh better on the court and have more trust,'' McCollum said. "And you are not afraid to hold each other accountable. We just have an understanding of each other.''

Lillard echoed McCollum's statement, referring to his running mate as his brother. The piece also points out that the two are so close that their mothers are now best friends.

"CJ is my brother, man. In the NBA you will see a lot of friendships that people make out to be more than they are, or what they want to believe they are. But me and CJ, we are really good friends. And that makes a difference when you are comfortable with someone and you want the best for them.''

Through the first 10 games of the 2015-16 season, Lillard (25.3 ppg) and McCollum (21.4 ppg) are second only to Golden State's Stephen Curry (33.3 ppg) and Klay Thompson (15.2 ppg) in combined scoring for the NBA's starting back courts. Lillard and McCollum see no reason the early season success can't continue.

"I don't see why we can't sustain it,'' McCollum said. "With us, you have to pick your poison. You can't double team us, you can't ... I'm not going to talk about it. They will see for themselves. They will see.''

Read Quick's rather lengthy and entertaining story here.

Lillard, McCollum and the Blazers will take on the Hornets in Charlotte on Sunday, Nov. 15 in a reunion with long time Portland small forward Nicolas Batum. Tip off is at 2:00 p.m. PST and the game will be shown on CSNNW.