The Portland Trail Blazers have activated rookie guard CJ McCollum for Tuesday night's road game against the Sacramento Kings. He is listed as "probable" in the game notes.
McCollum took questions at practice Monday in advance of what should be his NBA debut.
Video of his interview can be found on CSNNW.com.
Here are a few clips...
Has coach Terry Stotts told you about your role on Tuesday?
No, not really. We haven't really gone into details with anything. I'm just trying to work my way in now. I know I'll be activated tomorrow. This is the first step in the process, just trying to get acclimated with the team again.
I think I played OK. I did some things well. I didn't shoot the ball particularly well, but I've been shooting it well in practices and stuff like that. I was focusing on different movements, testing out different cuts, kind of seeing what I can get away with out there.
It was fun. I love this game, I love playing this game. When you get hurt your rookie year right before the season starts, after you finish training camp and two-a-days, it kind of hurts a little bit. Things have changed, I'm in a good position now, I'm comfortable with my body. I'm feel like I'm playing pretty well.
Your first game
I've been watching games all season. This is 34 or 35. I've played in two D-League games. Unless it's the playoffs, that's different, but it's just another game for me. No matter how many minutes I get, whether I play or not. I'm going to approach it as I did with the games I didn't play in, same routine, same workout at 3:30 or 4 o'clock, just like I normally do.
Your biggest contribution
Whatever way they feel is necessary. I can knock down shots but we have a lot of scorers. I'm trying to do the little things, focus on the little things. That's what I was trying to do in Boise, boxing out, finding the right defensive assignments, when you get a catch-and-shoot opportunity, just make sure you knock it down. We've got All-Stars on this team: arguably four, could be five. You never know how the voting will go. Just try to fit in, blend in, and play a role.
Worried about messing with team's chemistry?
Absolutely not. There's no such thing as having too much depth. Last year, you guys complained and said the team wasn't deep enough, said the bench wasn't providing enough energy. Now I'm hearing, 'They're too deep. Where does CJ fit?' and stuff like that. It's a long season, at some point you're going to need a lot of bodies to contribute in different ways.
Blazers coach Terry Stotts told reporters last Thursday that McCollum would play two games with the D-League's Idaho Stampede before rejoining the Blazers for practice on Monday, so everything has progressed exactly as expected.
McCollum broke the fifth metatarsal of his left foot during training camp, and he discussed the injury right here. He underwent an ultrasound procedure to treat the injury in mid-October and had been listed as out indefinitely since. McCollum underwent a follow-up in mid-November and a CT scan in mid-December, and he was cleared to practice on Dec. 20 after being cleared for three-on-three action on Dec. 12.
McCollum previously broke the fifth metatarsal in his left foot back in January 2013, and he underwent surgery after sustaining that injury. His initial recovery timeline after that injury was set at 8-to-10 weeks but he did not return for the rest of the 2012-13 NCAA season. McCollum did not participate in the skills portion of the Chicago pre-draft combine in May but he went through a solo workout with the Blazers in June.
McCollum, 22, was taken with the No. 10 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. He averaged 21 points, 4 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 34.6 minutes over five Summer League appearances.
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-- Ben Golliver | firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter