C.J. Miles' Player Mailbox
Cavs veteran C.J. Miles has been the squad’s everyman since he arrived 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 year, Miles is having the second-best season of his NBA career – averaging 11.2 ppg and netting double-figures in 24 of the 38 games he’s played. He scored 28 points in each of his first two starts and dropped 33 on the Nets in late December.
Though only 25 years old, Miles is an eight-year veteran who’s seen a little bit of everything in his day. And the Dallas native is also multi-talented, able to play the piano by ear.
In today’s Player Mailbox, C.J. took some of the best questions and came clean with his best responses – including the funniest guy on the team, what’s on his iPod and the worst part of being an NBA player …
Comments: Hey C.J. I have been watching you play ever since you were drafted by Utah and played with Deron Williams in his early ‘20s. How does Kyrie compare to a young Deron Williams?
Name: Tejon Hugee
C.J. Miles: They’re two very different players. Deron was a little bit older, stayed longer in college and had a little more experience. He was excellent as far as managing the game. But as far as talent, they’re both right there.
I think Kyrie, at this stage, he scores it better than Deron – as far as just a pure scorer. Deron was a different type of point guard, in terms of getting guys into their spots. Deron was a better passer at that age. It’s no knock on Kyrie because, scoring-wise, Kyrie scores as well as anyone in the league right now.
Comments: C.J., in your opinion who is the funniest guy on the team, other than you?
Name: Danielle Kern
City: North Canton
Miles: I’d have to say Tristan, now. (It was hands-down Pargo, when he was here.) But right now, I’ll go with Tristan even though he’s a little bit hit-or-miss sometimes. Kyrie is funny; he’s a funny guy. We have a great group of guys.
And then, we have other guys who are funny that aren’t trying to be funny. Like Kevin Jones is funny, but he’s not. You know? That’s Kev. We think he’s funny; but Kev doesn’t think he’s funny. It’s just his demeanor – he’s quiet, he just smiles and nods all the time if you say something to him.
And O (Omri Casspi) is funny. I think O’s hilarious, actually. And it’s one of those things where it’s not jokes. He’s just funny – his attitude, his loudness. He does this thing where he yells for no reason. He’ll walk in the room and do a: “Luuuuuuuuuukeee, baaaaay-beee!!!”
I think it’s hilarious. I tell him to do it sometimes.
Comments: Where is your favorite place to eat in Cleveland?
Name: Caleb Morgan
Miles: So far, XO is my favorite. And then I go to Sushi Rock – I like Sushi Rock.
They’re both good social restaurants and I think that’s why they’re cool, too. Because you can go in there with a group or you can eat the bar in the front of XO.
I’m not a food snob so even when I go, I only get two things. I get the kobe beef burger they have or I’ll get the sea bass. And they have these grouper fish tacos that are great!
Most of the time, I’ll go eat there after games. But I’ll go there randomly also.
Comments: With the headband or without the headband, which do you prefer and why? I have seen you both ways.
I used to wear a headband, but then I went a long time without wearing it. I wore it at the beginning, just pretty much because I could. Like, I sweat a lot. I sweat profusely. So the sweat would keep getting in my eyes and that’s what I’d use it for. But then I was like, I’d rather just ask for a towel.
Comments: What’s the worst part about being an NBA player?
Name: Robert Bielik
Miles: For me – (and I’m not complaining, I love my job) – but for me, it’s not being able to be with your family as much as you want. I think that’s one of the biggest things: just being away.For me, coming out of high school and being very family-oriented and going from Texas to Utah, and having brothers and sisters still in school was tough. I don’t get to see them much around the holidays. And it’s tough for everybody just to pick up and go. They have jobs, they have school. That’s probably the toughest thing for me.
I have a brother who’s in college in San Diego, a sister that’s in college in Dallas and another sister that’s a freshman in high school. So you can’t just pick up and go visit and play big brother during the holidays. My sister’s in high school now. I’ve missed almost the entire time from she was six or seven years old. And she and I were really close – me, being the oldest and she being the youngest. We had kind of a bond. And I’ve missed so much – games and things I wanted to see. It’s tough, so I try to make up for it in the summer time.
Everybody plays basketball. My brother plays at the University of San Diego. (They actually played in Utah against BYU the same day we played the Jazz.) My sister played and graduated and she’s in law school down in Dallas now. (She set the steals record at her school.) And my youngest sister – we call her “The Phenom” – she goes to Dallas Christian. She’s going to be the best of the bunch.
Comments: How often do you and fellow teammates spend time outside of practice? And who is your closest friend on the team?
Name: Skyler Balluch
Miles: We do a few things together on the road. We eat together and home and eat together after games. We’re together all day. We’re always hanging around the (Cleveland Clinic Courts). Around this place, why wouldn’t you want to hang around?
We have a great group of guys, so it’s hard to say I’m closest with one guy. I’m really cool with Kyrie. Him, me and Zo talk a lot. I’m close with Gibb in that we had a connection before I got here. I was really cool with Pargo because I knew him before I got here also. We all get along really well.
But I guess I’ll probably have to say Luke (Walton). Me and Luke talking is like trading old war stories – like two old men sitting on the porch. We talk about how many times we’ve played against one another and the Western Conference and things like that. Because compared to everybody else around here, it’s like Luke’s been in the league for 30 years.
Comments: If you were not an NBA player, what do you think you would have been?
Name: Salma Bdeiri
Miles: The route that I was going, I was going to school to be an architect.
My school had college prep classes and we had these things called “clusters” – programs you could pick that were designed for what you wanted to be. And (University of) Texas had a great architecture program, which is one of the other reasons I picked it. Growing up in Texas and being a Longhorn, that’s the thing.
And at the time, it was a really good basketball team that didn’t have a shooting guard. They had Gibb, LaMarcus (Aldridge), P.J. Tucker. That’s where I would have gone – I signed there and everything.
Gibb’s still mad at me about that.
Comments: What up CJ? What is playing on the iPod right now?
Name: Joe Gessner
Miles: I don’t listen to a lot of new stuff. And I don’t listen to the radio at all. I listen to my own mix. And I have a mix of a little bit of everything. Like, I’ve got a little bit of country. I’ve got some Rascal Flatts, some LeAnn Rimes playing. I have some Jazz going now – some Coltrane, Charles Mingus. I have some old soul, some Etta James. I have a big playlist going.
I listen to the “Five Heartbeats” soundtrack. (I love that movie.) And I’m a big instrumentation guy. I love instrumentals. It doesn’t have to be lyrics all the time.
Music, besides basketball, is probably the biggest, most influential thing in my life. I’ll come back from the gym and listen to music for the rest of the day.
I even started a vinyl collection a couple years ago. I think vinyl sounds better than anything else. I started off with more of what I knew. Michael Jackson, Al Green. And I started to get into jazz. And then I’d base it off the album covers. If there was an album cover that looked cool, I’d read the back and see what it’s about.
I just feel like music is the one thing that’s infinite. Between all the music that’s been made and going to be made, that’s the one thing – if I’m looking for something – that’s always going to be open for me to find something new.