Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum form one of the most dynamic, highest scoring backcourts in the NBA. Together they’ve led the Portland Trail Blazers to the 3rd seed in the Western Conference playoffs bracket and are poised to make a serious run at respectability beyond their combined 48.6 ppg scoring average. ESPN’s Chris Haynes sat down with the duo recently to discuss life in the NBA for talented, young guards as well as hot-button issues affecting them and the Trail Blazers. Part 1 of his video interview came out earlier this week. Part 2 has just been released.
Part II snippet of my hour-plus conversation with Portland’s Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. With the red-hot Trail Blazers hosting Rockets on Tuesday, a stern warning was issued: https://t.co/sdb9yBrtWS— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) March 17, 2018
On the infamous incident earlier this season when Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul made a last-second layup in a game the Rockets had won handily already, disrespecting the code of late-game scoring and, by extension, the Blazers:
Lillard: He’s been in the league a long time, so I was like, “Man, what type of play was that? What’s that about?” He was like, “Y’all ain’t playing defense.” So I was like, “Alright,” and I tried to hit the ball out of his hands. I didn’t like it. It’s that simple. I didn’t like it.
McCollum: Let’s put it like this: there ain’t going to be no more layups. Not if I’m around.
On where they fit in among the league’s best backcourts.
McCollum: Everybody’s nice. Go through every team with good guards. Everybody can shoot off the dribble for the most part. Some guys are very good at assisting others. Guys are super-athletic. Everybody’s nice. I think it’s just about winning at this point. They’re going to remember how your team did when it mattered. I’m not about to argue about who’s better, because I’m 26 now. I don’t really care who’s better.
Lillard: I do. I think we’re as good as any backcourt. Whenever we match up against whoever, we’re out there and we’re banging. It’s going to come down to wins and your team’s success, but I think if that’s a discussion, we’re as good as any backcourt.
McCollum: Depends on your cup of tea. I like my cup of tea.