McCollum Talks Contracts, Playoffs And Re-Drafting His Class On The Woj Podcast
Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum took some time off of hosting camps, signing lucrative contracts and chilling at the beach to join Adrian Wojnarowski on the latest edition of ESPN's Woj Podcast. Over the course of the conversation, McCollum discusses his decision not to play for in this summer's FIBA World Cup, his recent contract extension and remaining consistent, a relatively wide open Western Conference, the series versus the Thunder, the role of luck, whether it’s better for everyone that Kawhi Leonard didn’t go to the Lakers, whether “super teams” are on the way out, the increasing popularity of shorter contracts, what he would change in the CBA, thoughts on officiating, how he’d re-draft his the 2013 Draft, in which he was selected 10th, the Cleveland Browns and being invited to speak to the team and the success of his own podcast, Pullup with CJ McCollum.
A few of McCollum's more interesting quotes. Here's McCollum on the importance of continuity, especially in the face of failure...
"I think it matters. You look at the Warriors, you look at how they’ve been able to sustain greatness for so long, the team that swept us — consistently has swept us. You look at what they’ve been able to do keeping Draymond, they re-sign him. Sign Klay this summer, sign Steph, they keep their core together. Obviously they’ve had some changes within the rotation and we’ve had some changes. But I think having your core together with a culture, with an understanding of what it takes to win, who has been through some tough losses, I think that helps in that changes your perspective and your mindset to where, when you get to April and you’re down 2-1, you don’t panic. You don’t start to point fingers, you don’t play the blame game because you’ve already been through a sweep to the Pelicans, you’ve been through multiple sweeps to the Warriors and you’ve also had success and had multiple 50-win seasons and been projected to not make the playoffs and won 49 games. So you know what it’s like to see both sides of the spectrum. I think that now that we have that — we’ve gone through a lot — we’ll be ready to go this season. We don’t need people to talk about us, we don’t need people to boost us or to talk down on us. It doesn’t matter to us, we just want to go lock in, win as many games as possible and build on what we did last season."
And here's McCollum on what might have happened if the Trail Blazers hadn't defeated Oklahoma City in the first round of the 2019 Western Conference playoffs...
"If we had lost in the first round again, I think there would have been a lot of changes in our organization, not just players. I think that, with the state and status of the league right now, like where it’s at with the turnaround, how quick things can change — a great year can turn into a bad year and then people hit the switch. We talked about offline on how, some days the owner might wake up and want to fire a coach just because he woke up on the wrong side of the bed or because of a knee-jerk reaction to something that happened. I think a lot of things would have changed. You look at the Oklahoma City Thunder. What happens if they beat us? What happens if they get to the Western Conference Finals? Russ and PG probably stay together, Kawhi probably stays in Toronto. It’s like a domino effect, a lot of things happen to where you never know. You never know what could happen, honestly."