Portland star CJ McCollum’s honest thoughts on polarizing Chauncey Billups comments
Load management and limiting a star player’s minutes in the regular season is the hot new thing in the NBA. For Portland Trail Blazers star CJ McCollum, though, he’d rather play more minutes if given the chance.
When asked about potentially playing less in the regular season, the Blazers guard had this to say. (via The Oregonian)
“I just show up and do my job. If that’s what he [Blazers coach Chauncey Billups]wants, that’s what we’re going to do. I’m in shape to play whatever I need to play… I would never volunteer to play less minutes… Everybody wants you to play less minutes but you need to have the type of team where you can play less, right? You need to have the right pieces in place for you to be able to get longer rest.”
McCollum’s comments are in response to new Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups’ declaration of wanting to play Damian Lillard and McCollum less. The newly-minted HC talked about trying to lessen the workload of the dynamic backcourt duo, saying this.
“If we’re [Blazers] doing well, and everybody is playing well, I don’t want to see them playing 38 minutes. It’s a long season. God forbid somebody like wears down. In prior years, maybe they needed to do that. I’m not sure but we’ve got some good players to come off the bench and help those guys out.”
Billups’ comments make sense: if you have the option of playing your most important players less in the regular season, you should do it. As a former player himself, Billups knows how grueling the regular season can be for players. The Blazers HC believes that the rest of the backcourt rotation can share the workload of their star duo.
However, if it was up to McCollum, it seems like he wants to be on the court as much as possible to help the Blazers. That is very commendable, but CJ McCollum should listen to Chauncey Billups for this one. He’s a valuable asset to the Blazers, and keeping him fresh is vital for their playoff chances.