CJ McCollum and LeBron James may play for different West Coast teams, but they are still loyal to their native Akron, Ohio.
That’s why McCollum couldn’t help but give James a shoutout after the Trail Blazers defeated the Nuggets 100-96 in Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals Sunday.
When asked about his incredible block on a Jamal Murray layup that should have given the Nuggets an easy two points, McCollum had a simple explanation, telling reporters he was channelling “my boy [LeBron James] from the 330.”
“I just went and got it, Bron style. Shout out to my guy Bron from the 330. It was a mini version of Bron’s block on Iggy. I definitely didn’t get up as high. I might get a picture of that one. Hang that joint up,” McCollum said, via the Washington Post.
— NBA (@NBA) May 12, 2019
James heard the shoutout and gave McCollum one of his own, saying that the chase-down block is his favorite play.
@CJMcCollum Way to cook sauce bro! 330 boys is different! Congrats 🙏🏾
— LeBron James (@KingJames) May 13, 2019
The play was a crucial one — with less than five minutes left in the game, the Trail Blazers needed to keep their lead at four to stay a step ahead of the Nuggets.
And like McCollum said, it was very similar to James’ block on Warriors star Andre Iguodala in Game 7 of the NBA Finals in 2016, which brought a title to Cleveland.
Aside from the impressive block, McCollum finished the night with 37 points and nine rebounds to help punch Portland’s ticket to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in 19 years.