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Blazers’ McCollum, Collins Describe Return to Practice Facility

Following their return to the Trail Blazers’ practice facility, CJ McCollum and Zach Collins detailed their experience.

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Portland Trailblazers All Access Practice Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Following an extended closure, the Trail Blazers opened their practice facility in a limited capacity earlier this week. Zach Collins and CJ McCollum took a few moments to speak with The Athletic’s Jason Quick about their practice experience.

McCollum explained that practice times were broken into 90-minute segments with a handful of players participating in each session. In order to maintain a 12-foot buffer between players, each group was separated into different parts of the facility.

“Somebody is on the court, somebody in the weight room, somebody on the (training) table,” McCollum said. “It’s an adjustment for the coaches and staff, but it’s been nice to see everybody and to work out. This is the first time I’ve been able to shoot in like 50 days.”

The former Lehigh star discussed how he was staying busy with outdoor runs with fellow teammate Carmelo Anthony while away and highlighted how returning to a familiar place, despite changes, served as therapy.

“It’s interesting, man,” McCollum said. “I like that we are able to escape a little bit, because basketball is like therapy, and to get back into a normal routine is helpful for me. And it’s an adjustment because of the measures, like just to get into the building, but I like it because we have to be as safe as possible.”

Collins, who is working back from an early-season shoulder injury, revealed that the new practice setup shortened his normal routine.

“Now, though, you have a hard stop,” Collins said. “You have 90 minutes and then the next group comes. Before, I was able to stay longer and use the locker room, the showers, the steam room, hot tub.”

The NBA has been on hiatus since March 11. You can read the full story from Jason Quick at The Athletic.