Blazers guard CJ McCollum suspended for season opener

cj-us.jpg
USATSI

Blazers guard CJ McCollum suspended for season opener

NEW YORK, Oct. 14, 2017 – Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum has been suspended one game without pay for leaving the bench area during an altercation, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 9:33 remaining in the fourth quarter of Portland’s 113-104 preseason win over the Phoenix Suns on Oct. 11 at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

McCollum will be suspended for the first game of the 2017-18 NBA regular season for which he is eligible and physically able to play.

NBA media services

Five takeaways from Kings' 97-83 preseason loss to Blazers

Five takeaways from Kings' 97-83 preseason loss to Blazers

BOX SCORE

SACRAMENTO -- The games keep coming for the Sacramento Kings. After playing Sunday night in Las Vegas, the Kings returned to Golden 1 Center Monday to face the high-powered Portland Trail Blazers. With half the team taking the night off, the Kings couldn’t keep up, falling to 1-3 for the preseason with the 97-83 loss.

1- Welcome to the show Justin Jackson. Taken with the 15th overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft, the rookie out of North Carolina struggled in his first two appearances for Sacramento. He found a rhythm against the Blazers, scoring 16 points on 5-for-10 shooting from the field, including his first three 3-point makes of the preseason.

2- Frank Mason is NBA ready. The rookie point guard picked up the start in place of George Hill and the injured De’Aaron Fox. He instantly went to work against Damian Lillard, showing the same tenacity that NCAA fans became accustomed to while he starred at Kansas. The end result was a 13-point, five-rebound, three-assist performance for the 23-year-old guard.

3- Feed Labissiere. The Kings are looking for big things from their second-year power forward. Starting for the resting Zach Randolph, Labissiere went at the Blazers for 13 points and seven rebounds, using a variety of post moves and perimeter jumpers. He matched up against stretch fours for much of the night and held his own defensively.

4- The sophomore struggle is real. Malachi Richardson and Georgios Papagiannis are having a tough time finding playing time and an even tougher time making an impact. Richardson picked up three fouls in three minutes of first half action. Papagiannis picked up three fouls early as well and chipped in three turnovers before the break. Papagiannis rebounded a bit to finish with eight points and four rebounds in 20 minutes. Richardson’s five points all came in the second half.

5- End of bench steps up. With seven players sitting out, Jakaar Sampson, Jack Cooley, Matt Jones and Marcus Williams all contributed. Sampson and Cooley are playing on two-way deals and expected to bounce back-and-forth between Reno and Sacramento all season. Jones and Williams are options for the Bighorns as well. Every team needs a shooter and a veteran point guard.

Damian Lillard: 'I'm not joining nobody' like Kevin Durant did, unless...

Damian Lillard: 'I'm not joining nobody' like Kevin Durant did, unless...

Kevin Durant. LeBron James. Chris Paul. Paul George. LaMarcus Aldridge. Kyrie Irving. Gordon Hayward.

Those just some of the superstars to change teams in the last few years in pursuit of a championship.

But don't expect Damian Lillard to add his name to that list.

While speaking on the latest episode of Complex's Everyday Struggle, the Blazers point guard was asked about the possibility of joining up with other stars to try to win a title.

"I mean, like I said about [former Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge], I wouldn't have done it. For me, I'm not joining nobody," Lillard said.

When it was brought up that he'd join LeBron if given the chance, Lillard responded by saying this: "I'm not joining nobody. I would not win a championship before I go and team up and do all that. Unless it was something I couldn't control."

A hypothetical scenario was posed to Lillard: Let's say you're 34 years old (Lillard is currently 27 years old) and you had the chance to join two of your superstar friends on another team. You still wouldn't do it?

"I’m saying this because this is how I feel, not how I feel at the moment. That’s just how I feel about it. I think if that’s what somebody wants to do, I’m not mad at them for doing it. I’m just telling you what I’m not going to do. That ain’t how we get down," Lillard responded.

To wrap up the topic, Lillard was asked if he holds it against any player that does decide to team up with other superstars.

"Nah, if it make them feel good, if they comfortable doing it, then do you," Lillard said.