Ten months ago, Kevin Durant laughed in CJ McCollum’s face at the notion that his Portland Trail Blazers could win a championship.
Now McCollum will get a chance to walk the walk after his big performance in a comeback Game 7 win propelled the Blazers to a Western Conference finals matchup against the Golden State Warriors.
How did this all start?
The conversation got slightly heated when McCollum complained about Cousins joining the Warriors over any other team. After McCollum suggested that he should have signed with Portland, Durant could not hold back his laughs.
“You know you guys aren’t going to win a championship,” Durant said.
“Bro, we have the team,” McCollum replied. “We have the capabilities. Anything is possible. We can win a championship.”
“Let’s be honest,” Durant said, laughing. “I like y’all two [McCollum and Damian Lillard]. You’re hard to stop, but come on."
McCollum, of course, was serious. After being asked about the interaction on Twitter later, McCollum called Durant “soft,” which the former MVP did not take kindly, issuing his iconic line about doing his podcast.
So,I would get into a gang fight, lose, plot on my brother for 2 months in our home and then go get the gang we lost to and beat him up? U think that low of me CJ? I just did your fuckin podcast. Snakes in the grass boy I tell ya 🤣
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) July 26, 2018
McCollum downplayed the feud later, although it’s not nearly as clear if Durant is over the beef. For what it’s worth, McCollum has already quashed one beef earlier in the offseason, when he finally earned a playoff win — or eight — for Twitter critic Jennifer.
There is no feud y’all gotta chill. It was simply an analogy. I’m done speaking on KD and the warriors bc it’s childish of me to do so and soft lol (will be taken out of context). I’ve always said what I feel but we all know I’ve never been a 🐍. Back to the grind pic.twitter.com/93B39bqKTS
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) July 26, 2018
How much will McCollum and Durant face each other?
Because they play such different positions, it’s unlikely that McCollum and Durant will personally defend each other much. Portland certainly does not want its 6-foot-3 guard on the nearly 7-foot Durant.
However, they are both critical for their team’s chances. Durant led all playoff scorers with 34.4 points per contest before going down with calf injury, while McCollum was a close second on his team at 26.6. His 37 points on Sunday proved crucial to force this much-anticipated conference finals matchup.
Of course, Durant’s injury hangs over the rest of the series. Maybe the Blazers will head to the Finals — they split the regular season series, 2-2 — but to truly end this feud with a bang and prove Durant wrong, a healthy KD would be best.
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