C.J. McCollum, Kevin Durant ramp up Western Conference rivalry

Rivalries have always been great for the NBA, and a new one continues to emerge in the Western Conference. During a recent podcast, Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum and Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant exchanged trash talk over Durant’s move to the Warriors two years ago.

The heated discussion would later head to Twitter.

McCollum, who was once critical of Durant’s decision, blasted DeMarcus Cousins for his willingness to join the defending champions on small 1-year contract. Durant seemingly dismissed the importance, saying, “You know you're not going to win a championship."

McCollum would later say on Twitter, in a response to a follower, that Durant’s initial decision was “soft.”

The Warriors, who have won three of the last four NBA titles, will face strong competition in the West. In addition to the Trail Blazers, who boast one of the league’s best backcourts, they will deal with more up-and-coming teams who made sizable additions–namely the Los Angeles Lakers.

By adding LeBron to the Western Conference, the Warriors will face a tougher task in 2018-19.

With the Warriors taking the competitive edge by running out five All-Star starters, the league needs as much drama and intrigue as possible. McCollum’s comments do just that, as they add another layer of tension between the Warriors and the rest of the NBA.

It would not come as a surprise if the league chooses to put the Warriors and Blazers matchups in primetime next season.

Keep it here on AXS.com for more NBA news and tickets to select games.