Daniel Marks of Dime Magazine spent time with Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum in the days before he was selected with the No. 10 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.
Going to Chipotle with CJ was kind of an experience in contradictions for me. Growing up I idolized people like CJ, I had these visions of what guys did before the draft, and Chipotle was never in those visions. People like CJ were mystical to me, people I could root for and follow, but they seemed so different from me, and before arriving at Chipotle, some of those feelings started to lurk within me. Instead of seeing CJ as just another guy like me, I saw him as the modern day manifestation of my dreams, until he placed an order for a burrito.
It humanized CJ for me where I saw him now as an equal as opposed to in some higher esteem. After realizing CJ was not much different from me, I started hoping that based on his impending financial boon, CJ would offer to pay for my slightly overpriced $11.25 burrito, but unfortunately I had to foot my own bill (being a journalist is just so damn expensive). I think at some point in the future I will manage to forgive him, but I'm just not quite sure now is the right time
A lot of people, when they talk about CJ, they talk about a mature and polished guy. As a four-year player at an elite academic institution in Lehigh with a degree in journalism, CJ is not the typical one-and-done draft prospect. That maturity showed in our interview as CJ was not fazed by any question and didn't really change emotions throughout. You could tell that he was a guy who had done this before. When that was done, we walked eight blocks to Foot Locker in Times Square for an appearance there.
Here's a transcript of a question and answer session McCollum participated in after being selected.
Here's a transcript of Blazers GM Neil Olshey's thoughts on the draft.
Here's a transcript of Blazers coach Terry Stotts' thoughts on the draft.
-- Ben Golliver | email@example.com | Twitter