Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum gave an extended interview to Billboard.com this week, with subjects ranging from his assessment of Portland’s season to his relationship with backcourt mate Damian Lillard to his taste in music. While the venue might be more apt to Lillard’s passion for rapping, the interview delivers interesting insight on McCollum.
When asked how the season was going so far, McCollum responded:
I think it’s going all right, man. We’re a game over 500 right now...
Over all [sic], would like to have some more wins, but can’t complain on where we’re at based on how we played.
McCollum also offered his opinion on who has stepped up for the Blazers:
I think Chief [Al-Farouq Aminu] has played extremely well. He’s been aggressive shooting the ball at a high clip, very efficient. Defensively, he’s obviously been able to guard multiple positions. He can rebound. He’s been a key, key part of our success lately.
On whether he pays attention to heckling, especially about off-court pursuits:
No, I don’t pay it any attention honestly because I know what it’s like to be a fan. You want your team to win so bad that sometimes you’re illogical. Like, I’m a [Cleveland] Browns fan. So for me to think these teams are losing on purpose is ludicrous. You’re trying your hardest, you’re preparing, you’re putting your heart and soul into this, but you’re not performing the way you’d like to.
But like, I had a streak where I wasn’t shooting well for four or five games, and two of my buddies commented on my picture [on social media], and said “stop posting and get in the gym.” And i’m like so I’m supposed to be in the gym 24/7? For one, and for two, these are paid sponsorship posts. So a lot of the times, I’m not even posting them. Like I may be at practice, and a rep from my agency will hit me and be like, “Yo, I’m gonna post at this time..." I’m like, “Cool.” So people think I’m posting during practice, but that’s not me.
But, I get it, I get it. I have a responsibility and a job as a guy who gets paid a lot of money, I’m expected to perform.
The Billboard interview has plenty more on McCollum’s life on and off the court. It’s worth a read.