CJ McCollum Out Indefinitely With Broken Left Foot

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
3 years ago

Just two days before what would have been his first preseason game in the NBA, CJ McCollum broke the fifth metatarsal bone in his left foot during Saturday’s practice at the team’s facility in Tualatin. It is the same bone that sidelined McCollum for all but 12 games during his senior season at Lehigh.

McCollum was injured after setting a pick on Wesley Matthews sometime during Saturday’s practice. Matthews collided with McCollum while trying to fight through the screen, sending McCollum to the floor. The 6-4 rookie left practice to get x-rays, which showed that he had once again broken the his left fifth metatarsal. McCollum broke the same bone on January 5, 2013 in a game against Virginia Commonwealth. The injury would cause him to miss the remainder of Lehigh’s 2012-13 season.

No date has yet been set for surgery or his return to the court. The timeline for his rehabilitation will be made after he undergoes surgery to repair the bone.

Coincidentally, Damian Lillard broke the same bone, albeit in his right foot, during his third season at Weber State.

McCollum had been drawing positive reviews from his coaches and teammates through the first week of training camp and was expected to compete with Mo Williams, Will Barton, Earl Watson and Allen Crabbe for minutes at both backup guard spots. He was also excited to play in front of Trail Blazers fans for the first time at the Wells Fargo Fan Fest on Sunday.

“That will be a good opportunity to get some scrimmaging in in front of an audience, kind of put on a show for the fans,” said McCollum on Friday. “It’ll be good for us to interact with the fans as well.”

That show, at least from McCollum, will have to wait until after his foot heals.

 

Show Comments

Damian Lillard To Forego 2016 Olympics

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
2 days ago

According to Shams Charania of The Vertical, Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard will not play for Team USA at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in order to rest and continue rehabilitating the plantar fasciitis injury that dogged the 6-3 for much of the 2015-16 season. I can confirm this report.

Though Lillard was able to play through the injury after missing seven games in late December, the pain caused by the plantar fasciitis in his left foot never really went away. He received treatment on his foot throughout the season, though the most effective approach to the injury, which causes extreme pain on the bottom of the foot and heel, is rest, which is obviously hard to get when you’re the leader and best player on a team trying to make the postseason. By forgoing the month-long lead up to the Olympics and the Games themselves, Lillard should have the recuperation time he’ll need to go into Portland’s 2016 training camp completely healthy.

Charnania is also reporting that Lillard was hoping for more time to make the decision before being pressed by Team USA for a commitment one way or another. This could very well be true, though if being completely healthy and rested for the start of the 2016-17 NBA season is Lillard’s motivation for declining a Team USA invite, it’s hard to figure how another week or two would change his decision.

Lillard initially declined being a part of the pool that Team USA draws their roster from, though he ultimately relented despite not feeling particularly optimistic about his chances of being named to the Olympic team after being passed over for the FIBA World Cup team in 2014. But between players opting to rest in preparation for the upcoming season and the myriad of concerns regarding the 2016 Games, the number of candidates has dwindled to the point where Lillard would have been a lock to make the Olympic team had he chosen to participate.

But Lillard opting for rest over Rio doesn’t mean you won’t have a Trail Blazer to root for during the Olympics, as Al-Farouq Aminu and the rest of Team Nigeria (a team that also includes former Trail Blazer Ike Diogu and former Oregon Duck Chamberlain Oguchi) have qualified for the 2016 Games after winning AfroBasket 2015 in Tunisia. And CJ McCollum has also been invited to play on the USA Select Team, whose purpose is to help the USA National Team prepare for international events, though players from the Select team have been promoted to the National team, with the most recent example being Mason Plumlee making the 2014 World Cup team.

Show Comments

Audio: Terry Stotts On ‘The Vertical’ Podcast

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
3 weeks ago

In between playing a few rounds of golf and enjoying some of Oregon’s finest beverages (I’m assuming), Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts joined Chris Mannix on “The Vertical” podcast to discuss his past as a player and coach and Portland’s unexpected 2015-16 season…

Adrian Wojnarowski, NBA oracle and head of “The Vertical,” leads off the podcast, with Stotts’ segment with Mannix starting just before the 42 minute mark. Whoever put the post together was kind enough to break down the topics in case you don’t have time to listen to the whole thing, and I’ve transcribed a few segments for your reading pleasure…

Stotts on CJ McCollum’s season, which culminated with the third-year guard being named the NBA’s Most Improved Player…

“I knew he was going to have a good year and I knew he would probably be in the conversation for Most Improved. Now, I wouldn’t have said how many points he was going to average or anything else, but I knew that the opportunity was going to be there and he was going to take full advantage of it because he’s extremely skilled, he can put the ball in the basket and. There were some question marks — one was his health — because he had had injuries each of the three previous seasons, we made him our backup point guard, that was something that he hadn’t done at this level. So there were certainly question marks in certain areas, but the fact that he could score and do what he can do well, I don’t think that surprised anybody within our organization.”

Stotts on Damian Lillard using slights from the media, perceived or otherwise, as motivation…

“I will say in this day and age, I think everybody knows what everybody is saying about everybody. If they don’t read it, a friend reads it or a friend retweets it or forwards the tweet. It’s really hard not to know what’s going on out there and people can try and say, ‘No, I don’t pay any attention to that’ but Damian is a very honest person and he’s true to himself. To say that he doesn’t know what is being said, it wouldn’t be truthful. I think a lot of players and a lot of people in general use that as motivation. I find it funny how people think that Damian is alone with that because you have goals and he wants to do well, he wants to prove what he can do. I think it’s more about what he’s capable of rather than what people are saying.”

Show Comments

McCollum Picked To Help Team USA Train For Upcoming Olympics

Casey Holdahl
by Casey Holdahl
3 weeks ago

When asked during exit interviews about the report stating that he had been invited to play for the USA’s Select Team, which helps the Men’s National Team train for the 2016 Summer Olympics, Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum said, “I would love to be a part of Team USA basketball.”

That feeling is evidently mutual, as USA Basketball officially announced on Tuesday that McCollum was one of 25 players chosen for the Select Team that will scrimmage against the Team USA roster in Las Vegas in mid-July during their preparation for the upcoming games in Rio.

“It’s and honor and a privilege to be chosen to represent the USA, especially in this setting,” said McCollum via text. “A step in the right direction.”

Though it’s unlikely that playing on the Select Team will result in a chance to compete internationally this year — Mason Plumlee started on the Select Team that helped prepare Team USA for the 2014 FIBA World Cup of Basketball before eventually being named to the roster for that competition — the invitation means that McCollum is now taken the first step to potentially making the National Team in the future.

“Being chosen for the Select Team is an honor and it is an important step in becoming involved in USA Basketball’s National Team program in the future,” said USA Basketball National Team managing director Jerry Colangelo via press release. “Current national team players like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, as well as many other outstanding players, got their USA National Team start through a Select Team.”

McCollum, who won the 2016 Most Improved Player award after averaging 20.8 points on 45 percent shooting from the field and 42 percent shooting from three, 4.3 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 34.8 minutes per game this season, joins the likes of Emmanuel Mudiay, Devin Booker, Kentavious Caldewell-Pope, Zach Lavine, Doug McDermott, Jabari Parker, Marcus Smart and Cody Zeller on the Select Team, which will be coached by Gregg Popovich, who is taking over for current Team USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski after the 2016 Olympics, former Trail Blazer and current Spurs assistant Ime Udoka and Villanova head coach Jay Wright.

The USA Select Team will train with Team USA from July 18-21 at the Mendenhall Center on the campus of UNLV before a friendly versus Argentina on July 22. The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro start August 5.

Show Comments