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McCollum Explains Love of Portland, Blazers Title Hopes

In a post for the Players’ Tribune, Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum dives into what makes Rip City special.

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

CJ McCollum represents the other half of the Trail Blazers star-studded backcourt that is poised to lead Portland on another postseason run. Following the Blazers march to the Western Conference Finals in the 2019 NBA Playoffs, McCollum explained in a post for The Players’ Tribune that he is now confidently focused on bringing a trophy back to Rip City.

McCollum chronicled the Blazers successful run last season before highlighting how special the fanbase is in Portland.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Portland basketball fans are the best basketball fans in the world. And it’s not just some rah-rah thing, like they can show up and get loud for games. That’s part of it, but it only scratches the surface.

After acknowledging how loaded the Western Conference is, McCollum made it clear that the Blazers are focused on rising above the fray in pursuit of a title.

I think that in past years, we might have been a little hesitant to say that we’re trying to win a championship. We’ve always had that mindset, but we’ve never been very vocal about it. I guess it’s because outside of Portland and in the media, people haven’t put us in that conversation. So it’s like … nobody had given us permission.

Well, I can tell you right now that we don’t need permission.

Our goal is to win a championship. Not to build toward it, but to make it to the NBA Finals, and win the whole thing. We’ve put the work in. We know what it takes, and we know what we have.

McCollum, who is under contract with the Blazers through the 2023-24 season, averaged 24.7 points per game in the 2019 postseason.

You can read McCollum’s full post at The Players’ Tribune.