By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum has traveled overseas a couple of times these last years to see his older brother Errick play for various European clubs.
Yet this season, he hopes the Blazers‘ playoff run will be long enough to keep him busy.
“I was able to, fortunately, fly to Europe and see my brother play because the season ended so early. I told him this year, I ain’t gonna be able to make it,” McCollum said after the Blazer’s 111 – 98 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 4 of the Western Conference quarterfinals. Portland is now up 3-1 in the series.
Blazers' CJ McCollum: "We got swept last year. It was on TV every day. They talked about me getting traded, how we can't win together. I was able to fly to Europe to see my brother play because the season ended so early. I told him this year, I ain't going to be able to make it." pic.twitter.com/5Vo0a0TgVd
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) April 22, 2019
In 2016, C.J. went to Istanbul, Turkey where Errick had been a newly crowned EuroCup champion and season MVP as a player of Galatasaray. After the Blazers were swept 4-0 by the Pelicans in the first round of the 2018 playoffs, C.J. also traveled to the Turkish city to visit his brother competing with Anadolu Efes.
In 2014, following his rookie season, C.J. came to Athens, Greece. Errick then played for Panionios.
Errick is currently in Russia with VTB League club Unics Kazan. His team has the upper hand in finishing the regular season of the championship with the second seed, right below EuroLeague powerhouse CSKA Moscow and will enter the playoffs aiming to at least make the Final.
“Big bro staying up right now in Russia right now watching on 6 – 7 A.M. He understands what we’re going through and what we’re trying to accomplish,” C.J. McCollum added. When Errick isn’t watching his brother play, he puts up 12.8 points, 2.2 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game in VTB.
The VTB regular season is concluded April 28 when Unics will face Stelmet Zielona Gora and find out its opponent in the quarterfinals. The Blazers’ games vs. the Thunder will be wrapped by then, regardless of the outcome. The winner will face either Denver Nuggets or San Antonio Spurs.
C.J. and the Blazers are the favorites to advance. So this year, the two brothers’ reunion may be postponed a bit.