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CJ McCollum Interviews NBA Commissioner Adam Silver

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McCollum asked questions about Silver’s White House visits, gambling and legalizing marijuana

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Portland Trail Blazers Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum sat down with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to discuss some controversial topics on Friday. They talked through Silver’s White House visits, gambling, and the legalization of marijuana. This was their third such interview since Silver spoke with McCollum after he was selected by the Blazers in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Here are some of Silver’s answers to some of McCollum’s tough questions.

Commissioner Silver regarding his opinion on championship teams going to the White House and who should make that decision...

"I definitely don’t think it should be a league decision. I don’t think we should be directing teams or players to go to the White House. It’s my view that, if invited, our teams should go to the White House, that regardless of people’s personal political views, I think that these institutions are bigger than any individual politician and any individual elected official. It concerns me that something like going to the White House after winning a championship is something that’s been a great tradition would become one that is partisan. I will say though, even though I think that teams should make decisions as organizations, that I would also respect an individual player’s decision not to go."

Commissioner Silver's views on sports gambling...

“I accept as a given that there is an enormous amount currently being bet on sports in the United States; virtually all of it is underground. It’s a multi-hundred billion dollar industry, with zero transparency on the part of the league. So if there is unusual behavior, we have no way of detecting it. Think, on the other hand, of a public stock market. We all know of stories of insider trading and often the reason insider traders are caught is because there’s aberrational behavior. So it’s not as much that I’m an advocate for sports betting, it’s more I feel I’m a realist."

Silver's views on the NBA's drug policy, specifically with regard to marijuana (which McCollum notes he does not "partake in") which is now legal in numerous states...

"I don’t see the need for any changes right now. It’s legal in certain states, but as you know, our players are constantly traveling and it might be a bit of a trap to say we’re going to legalize it in these states but no, it’s illegal in other states and have players get in a position where they’re traveling with marijuana and getting in trouble."

While McCollum continues to improve on the court as a Blazer, he’ll have another path waiting for him once his NBA career concludes. Sports journalism seems to be a nice fit.