Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum is finding ways to spend his time with the 2019-20 NBA season suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. McCollum spoke with members of the Portland media on Wednesday about his current adventures, which includes becoming a new puppy parent (transcription via Blazers digital reporter Casey Holdahl):
How are you and how is your puppy Fiona?
CJ McCollum: She is good. She tries to run from me, but she’s doing well. We just went on a walk, went on a nature walk, I didn’t wipe her paws off so the couch is ruined. But she’s doing well. We officially adopted her, so I can’t take her back now... She peed on the carpet again today.
With limited access to workout facilities, McCollum is trying to stay as close to game shape as possible. He is even thinking about spending time at former Blazer center Meyers Leonard’s house in Portland, which has a basketball court inside, to get some shots up:
I thought about buying a court, I’m actually thinking about going to Meyers’ (Leonard) house. Meyers has a court and they said I could use their little basketball court, so I’ll be able to get some shots up. But even if you go buy a court or whatever the case may be, it’s not the same as the normal workouts you’d go through, the normal stuff that I would be doing to prepare for the season and for games. I haven’t shot a basketball in at least two weeks... It’s the other stuff — your rhythm, your timing, all that stuff — kind of shifts when you don’t play for a while.
McCollum also says he’s making sure he keeps in touch with his teammates during this period of limited face-to-face interaction:
I’ve been in contact with most of the guys, I’m actually missing a Zoom yoga session as we speak, so I’ll have to get on next time. But we’ve been in contact. Obviously I talk to Dame pretty often, I still have to give him an update on things and what I’ve heard, have to give the rest of the guys updates. Every time I hear something or we have a discussion with the NBPA, I either put it in the group chat or we schedule a call and we kind of knock it out. I talk to Todd (Forcier) almost every day, he’s sending workouts, making sure that we’re doing what we’re supposed to do. He’s the one that’s delivering the bikes to everyone and assembling the bikes and putting everything together. I’ve talked to Jess (Elis), I’ve talked to Neil (Olshey), I’ve talked to coaching staff, Terry and I talked last week. You just try to have those conversations. What you watching? What are you doing? How has it been going? Are you staying sane? Wha should I be watching? Kind of go from there. It’s been fun, I’m going to try to utilize Zoom more so we can have some group conference calls and try to get grandma to figure that out as well.
You can read more from McCollum’s press call here.