Lillard’s longtime teammate, CJ McCollum, now with the New Orleans Pelicans, took a moment to acknowledge the achievement when asked about it after his own game on Monday.
"I am extremely happy for him, and I am not surprised. That is something we expected him to accomplish because of his greatness,"— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) December 20, 2022
- @CJMcCollum on @Dame_Lillard becoming the @TrailBlazers' all-time leading scorer pic.twitter.com/fSAQDy3rZU
I’m extremely happy for him. I recorded a video for him a few weeks ago anticipating this moment. I know how hard he’s worked. I know, our relationship, what that is and what that will be for the rest of our life. The bond that we have is something special, and I’m just happy for him because I know the type of work that he puts in. A lot of people see the success on the court, but you don’t see what goes into the success. The sacrifice, the work ethic, the 6AM’s in Vegas, all the stuff that we’ve done together and all the stuff he’s done independently to build himself up for these types of moments and accolades is a testimony to his hard work, his faith, and the coaching staff and organization putting him in a position to succeed. So, I’m extremely happy for him, and I’m not surprised. That’s something that we expected him to accomplish, based on his greatness.
Lillard and McCollum played together from the time McCollum was drafted in 2013 to the time he was traded just last season. As a starting backcourt, the pair of guards led the Trail Blazers to six consecutive playoff berths, including a run to the Western Conference Finals in 2019.
This is a classy move we all expected from McCollum, who has maintained a close friendship with Lillard despite the physical distance between them.