PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Even though the Portland Trail Blazers season came to a sudden end Monday night, the season as a whole, CJ McCollum said, “was incredible.”
At their season-ending press conference, Blazers players and coaches shared their thoughts on the past 8 months.
“It was an incredible season,” McCollum said. He noted owner Paul Allen passed away before the season began and “expectations weren’t very high.” But the team pulled together and worked their way to a 3-seed in the playoffs.
“Down the stretch, I get hurt,” he said, but “we kept figuring out ways to win.”
The Blazers won 53 games in the regular season and another 8 in the playoffs, with series wins over Oklahoma City and Denver.
“I think we learned a lot about ourselves and the community should be proud.”
“We should be encouraged about what we’ve been able to build on,” Damian Lillard said.
Through it all, the Blazers remained a tight-knit group.
Social media makes it “harder for teams to stay together,” he said. People with “10 or 20 Twitter followers” can post something that gets re-tweeted and “people pay attention to everything they say like they know” and then “it ends up on SportsCenter.”
Lillard said he managed to stay in good physical condition during the campaign.
“This is also the first season where I kind of sustained my training,” he said. “Just finding the time to stay committed to that even when I didn’t feel like it really helped.”
“This summer my training I’ll be staying active, stuff to keep my body in good shape.” He’ll also be doing commercials and “spending time with my family.”