VIDEO: McCollum Explains Why He Shouldn't Be Traded On ESPN's 'First Take'
I really have to hand it to CJ McCollum. If I were in his position, I wouldn't take a single interview request in the offseason, let alone just a few weeks after being eliminated via sweep in the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs. Yet here he is, a regular feature on ESPN as of late, going on "SportsCenter" to talk about the now-completed series between the Rockets and Jazz and breaking down game film with Jalen Rose on "Get Up." And that's not to mention his recent appearance on "The Right Time" podcast with Bomani Jones and recording his own podcast, "Pull Up with CJ McCollum." That post-playing career in broadcast is all but locked up at this point.
But he's not just joining shows where he'll be lobbed softball questions. Case in point: McCollum was a guest on the Wednesday edition of "First Take," ESPN's morning show featuring Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim... discussing various topics in the world of sport. During the interview, Smith, who has been vocal about his lack of faith in the current iteration of the Trail Blazers, noted that he thinks the Blazers need to blow it up and that McCollum should be traded in order to improve Portland's fortunes going forward...
McCollum does a nice job of making his case without coming off as offended or defensive, noting that he think there's still room for this team to grow before making significant roster changes.
"I think it's premature, this is our third season," said McCollum. "We've gotten better each year. This is my third full-time year as a starter even though this is was sixth season. Dame and I have gotten better, we've won, we've proven we could potentially get homecourt, we can go at the big dogs and hang with the big dogs. Obviously we got swept in the playoffs, so that's all people remember and that's great. We have to improve, we realize that."