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McCollum, no love lost with Campazzo: “I can’t stand him”

Pelicans guard, CJ McCollum, was a guest on the JJ Reddick podcast to review the latest news in the NBA... he remembered Facundo Campazzo.

Facundo Campazzo, base de Denver Nuggets, durante su partido contra Portland Trail Blazers.
Isaiah J. DowningUSA TODAY Sports

Facundo Campazzo’s spell in the NBA is over, but he remains a figure who is still remembered from time to time. One of the most recent times his name cropped up was on JJ Reddick’s highly-rated podcast, The Old Man and The Three. Recent guest CJ McCollum, formerly of the Blazers and currently with the Pelicans, spoke about Campazzo, against whom he faced off in the NBA... praising and criticizing him at the same time.

“What was the name of the small player from the Nuggets? Now he’s in Europe - Facu,” McCollum recalled, taking a sly dig at the Argentinean. That was his answer to a question from Reddick about which players he hated the most. After a little hesitation, McCollum mentioned the former Nuggets player, now on the books at Red Star Belgrade. “I can’t stand him, but he’s a great European player though,” added the shooting guard, who went on to say that he would like his brother, Errick, who plays in the Turkish League, to face the Argentinean. “I wish him the best in Europe. I hope my brother gets to play against him.”

It was during the point guard’s first season in the NBA that Campazzo and McCollum spent the most time as rivals out on court. In the first round of the playoffs, Jamal Murray was out injured which meant the Argentine was handed more playing time. Campazzo had to defend Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in certain parts of the game. The Colorado-based franchise beat the Blazers 4-2 and advanced to the Conference semi-finals, where they lost to the Suns. Campazzo averaged more than 9 points and 5 assists in that series, while McCollum was hitting over 20 points.

That series seems to have left its mark on MCCollum, who still remembers how Campazzo, who had a reputation for being a tough player, defended him during various moments in the series. In one way or another, both players are today at different points in their careers: McCollum left the Blazers project to sign for the Pelicans, while Campazzo has finished his adventure in the best league in the world League to return to Europe and play today for Red Star. Two destinies that were intertwined, briefly, but never came together. And a memory for McCollum, who recalls Campazzo as a player he wouldn’t want to come face to face with again.


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