CJ Miles' Player Mailbox
Cavs veteran C.J. Miles has had a rock-solid first season in Cleveland after inking a free agent contract over the summer. Whether starting or coming off the bench, the versatile swingman has produced for Byron Scott’s squad all season.
This season, Miles is having one of the best campaigns of his eight-year career, notching double-figures in 11 of his last 12 contests and leading the Wine and Gold with 107 – two shy of his career-high for a season.
Before the Cavaliers boarded for Miles’ hometown of Dallas, cavs.com caught up with Cleveland’s sharpshooter to complete his Player Mailbox.
As always, C.J. has thorough and thoughtful takes on everything from his pregame routine to the player with the worst fashion sense to a possible nickname for the Cavaliers’ second unit.
Comments: What's your pregame routine? What do you eat every game day? How does your whole day go?
Full Name: Justin Rodak
C.J. Miles: On gamedays, we have shootaround around 9:30, so I’ll get up around 8:15. I eat breakfast here (at Cleveland Clinic Courts) beforehand. They have scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, oatmeal, fruit. I usually eat oatmeal and some eggs and potatoes.
After shootaround, I’ll do ‘contrast’ – I get in the cold tub and the hot tub. I’ll go back and forth for a few minutes; ice my knees then warm them back up again.
They make lunch here, too. So I’ll get salad with fruit and pecans in it, and whatever pasta he makes – chicken and pasta or ravioli – and whatever soup he makes. I always eat a big, big lunch on gamedays, because I don’t like to eat a lot before the game.
So I take that lunch home, get home around 1 p.m. Nap from like 1:45-2:00 until like 3:45-4:00. I’m at the arena by 4:15-4:30. Get on the floor for warmup – (me and Tristan usually get here the same time) – around 5:00-5:15. Then around 5:30 – an hour-and-a-half before the game – I’ll lift weights.
Then get in the locker room and get my headphones on and I have, like, 40 minutes to get my head together. And I’m not one of these guys who likes hype stuff. I’m more of a calm-before-the-storm guy, although it depends on the day. But lately, I’ve gone with couple playlists so I can just throw it on: it has Drake, Jay-Z, Common. I listen to a lot of The Roots. On gameday, it’s mostly hip-hop stuff. Childish Gambino’s big; he’s always in the rotation. And I like Levi Washington, a young kid from Atlanta. A lot of people don’t know about him. He has a tape out called “Neptune” that’s pretty good.
And when the pregame clock hits 60, I’ll eat a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich and some fruit.
I do the same thing every time. It doesn’t change.
Comments: I was watching the player intros before a game at The Q last week and instead of regular high-fives, you guys smack the BACK of each other’s hands? What’s the meaning of that and where did it start?
Full Name: Nick Rivers
City: Garfield Heights
Miles: There’s not a real significance. One day we did it and it just looked cool.
It’s a lot of the second unit guys that were doing it. That’s when it started, and then it just carried over to the whole team. Like that second group – me, Shaun, Mo, Luke, Wayne – and everybody just started doing it. There’s nothing significant to it. It just looks kinda cool.
Comments: Which players in the NBA did you look up to when you were younger?
Full Name: Jennifer Thomas
Miles: Michael Jordan was big, obviously. But I was also a big young Penny Hardaway fan. And Ray Allen, who’s still in the league. Ray Allen was a big guy for me.
I was a big Mavericks fan growing up. Michael Finley was big when I was a kid. It was his city. That was before Dirk and before Steve Nash kinda came on. Michael Finley was like our Jordan in Dallas. He was a similar – athletic, a scorer, young. He was big for me.
The team wasn’t as good. It was after the Blackmon-Tarpley era when I really got locked on with the Mavs. Like I knew those players, but I didn’t understand the game as well. And then when I really knew what was going on, Michael Finley was my guy.
I really liked a lot of guys growing up. I think I watched so much basketball, I just overloaded. I was one of those kids, I’d be watching the game and be like: ‘Oooohhhhhh, I like that move. I’m gonna go outside and try it!’
Comments: Who has the best (and worst) fashion sense on the team?
Full Name: Al Malkin
State: North Carolina
Miles: I don’t think we have any really bad guys.
Tristan is good, he’s come a long way. I’m not with the ‘no-socks’ thing he does. But other than that, he’s got his own little style. He knows everything, too. He knows designers and brands and things like that.
Me, I’m all over the place. My biggest thing is comfort. And I’m a big sneaker guy too. So I’ll base what I buy based on my sneakers. I have a wide range of sneakers, so I know I can do a lot of stuff. I like colors; I don’t like to be plain. But at the same time, black is always cool-looking.
But on our team, the guys are pretty straight line. Like, Luke’s got good style, Tristan’s got good style, Omri’s got good style. Omri’s got the Euro style. But the Euro style is always good, especially when you’re a Euro guy. Like, he knows how to throw the scarf on and things like that.
I’ve played with some guys who were still wearing terrible styles. This group is pretty good, but I’ve been with some guys who’ve been pretty far out of the loop.
Gordon Giricek had some strange fashion sense. But the thing that made it so cool was that HE thought he was the freshest thing going. Gordon was eccentric. Like, he came in one day with a brown leather jacket – a bomber jacket – that looked like it was from the movie, “Top Gun.” He had the patches all over it and he had the aviator shades. And he’d wear it with like sweats and a t-shirt. Or he would come with a pinstripe suit with a peach shirt under it.
I mean, he would have his days where he’d look normal. But either way, he was a cool dude. I liked Gordon, he was funny.
Comments: Can you relate the piano to anything in basketball?
Full Name: Jonathan Priestly
Miles: Maybe not the piano, particularly. But maybe to music itself, because the game has a rhythm to it.
I think there are moments to the game where it’s like an orchestra. Moments where the game speeds up, picks up intensity. You have exciting plays that are like the base booming, you have lulls where it gets real smooth. You have the build-up and the crescendo – maybe at the last shot or even in the middle of a game where a guy gets a steal and the crowd gets quiet and anticipates the dunk.
There are a lot of similarities to music and basketball. The moments build up and it’s almost like a symphony.
Comments: Fred McLeod always mentions looking for a nickname for the Cavs second unit. Have you thought about one or does the second team already have one?
Full Name: Brian Schelling
City: Bullhead City
Miles: I keep saying we’re going to have one, but we haven’t done it yet.
Maybe we’re like – what was the name of that movie that came out where all the old action movie guys got back together? “The Expendables”?
Yeah. “The Expendables.”
That might work.