Audio: CJ McCollum Discusses Trash Talk, Lebron vs. Jordan And Pedicures On The Flagrant Two Podcast

by Casey Holdahl
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Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum was recently a guest on The Flagrant Two podcast with Bill Reiter and Reid Forgrave. Topics during the interview include who McCollum’s phenomenal shooting this season, who he thinks is the best young player in the league, recent bouts of trash talking and personal grooming habits. You can listen to the entire interview below, though I’ve also transcribes a few of the more interesting answers…

On the importance of manicures and pedicures…

CJ McCollum: "I think the manicures and pedicures are crucial because you think about the sport we play, you aren’t anything without your hands and feet. You have to be able to run and that’s your base, you have to be able to cut, move, jump. And then from a catching, shooting, dribbling, passing standpoint, you have to have useful hands. If your nails are extra long or they’re breaking on you and causing different types of defects, it can be brutal on your performance. The cryo has been very helpful for me to kind of speed up the recovery process and I’ve also added some floating as well in the salt water tanks."

What his recruiting pitch would be to Lebron James…

CJ McCollum: "Being from Ohio and knowing Lebron since I was a kid, especially playing for his AAU team, if it came up, if it got to that point, we have each other’s number or I usually see him at some point in the summer. I’m sure we could talk but as of right now I’m just trying to focus on our team and what we’re doing here. But if there becomes a time where we’re on a short list or something of that nature, I mean you’d be a fool to not recruit arguably the best player in the NBA, arguably one of the best players to ever play, especially when you know there is some some west coast interest… The Pacific Northwest and having Nike in Oregon, I’m sure that could be a factor."

On the debate between Michael Jordan and Lebron James…

CJ McCollum: "It’s just tough because there’s so many generations that will judge it. From a kid that was born in the 90s, he’s probably more so a Kobe fan than a Jordan fan because obviously Jordan’s last championship was in ’98, so you’re eight years old if you’re born in ’90 or ’91. You didn’t really get to see the height of Jordan, you only know classic games videos and the fact that his shoes are still one of the hottest things out. I think it just depends on when you were born, the generation you were born and what you’re watching… It’s going to be barbershop talk forever and everybody is going to have different preferences. You compare the stats, you compare the championships but they’re just two great players who did it differently in different eras and obviously Lebron being 6-9 and who know how many pounds with his ability to pass and dominate the game.

"And then Jordan, who was 6-6, freakish build, long arms and able to dominate a game in different ways in his era, so I think it’s hard. It’s going to be hard. Obviously you compare the championships, you compare statistics side by side but when it’s all said and done you can go with either one. I think you’ll be able to choose either one and it’ll depend on when you were born and how you feel about championships. Is that more important to you? Or is it overall winning percentage or is it years played because Lebron coming out of high school will have the benefit of the doubt in games played because his health and the fact that he’s basically been indestructible for 15 years and 10 years form now he could still possibly be playing. He’d be Tom Brady 40 years old dominating the NBA."

On how he and Damian Lillard stack up to the best backcourts in the NBA…

CJ McCollum: "I think we’re very good, very competitive. There’s a lot of good guards in the NBA, a lot of good tandems. You’ve got Wall with Beal, you got James (Harden) and CP (Chris Paul). There’s so many good players out there. I’m sure everyone is going to say that they’re number one. I just think that we’re very good, it’s hard for teams to come into Oregon and beat us and we feel like we can compete with the best of them."