McCollum: 'People Have Been Destroying Me' For NBA Finals Tweets

Trail Blazers guard, budding journalist and Harvard Business School alumnus (sort of) CJ McCollum was a guest on the June 5 edition of “The Ryen Russillo Show” on ESPN Radio to discuss a host of topics including the Golden State Warriors running roughshod over the 2017 NBA, his tweet about Warriors guard Klay Thompson’s future, being one of the increasing number of the fans who are not particuarlly enjoying the NBA Playoffs and LeBron James answering, as McCollum puts it, “not-so-good questions.” You can listen to the entire interview here, though I’ve transcribed some of McCollum’s more interesting responses…

On the reaction to his tweet about Klay Thompson…

CJ McCollum: “Well people have been destroying me. It’s understandable as a fan, you protect your team. A lot of Warriors fans are upset with what I said and some people talked about how I’m just mad because we got swept. And I’m like ‘Well, if you were watching the playoffs you’ve seen the other teams get swept as well, so it wasn’t just us.’ Watching the game I just made some observations based on the flow of the game. Klay is getting 12, 13 shots in the playoffs, obviously (in) the first game about 16 (shots) but they’re not the normal shots he’s accustomed to in rhythm. Sometimes he doesn’t touch the ball for long periods of time and obviously you have to make adjustments having two All-Stars on his team… two MVPs on his team and another All-Star in Draymond (Green). People weren’t happy with what I said and some people agree with me, but it was just me making an observation as an NBA player who has watched Klay and his body language and how the team has performed with and without him.”

On whether he thinks his prediction will eventually come true…

CJ McCollum: “I wasn’t just trying to start an argument with Twitter. I honestly believe — if they win this year that’s ring number two and his contract is not up until ’19, he’ll have a few years left to get a couple more rings. I think they talked about this on “The Jump,” T-Mac (Tracy McGrady) said it, he scored 60 points in three quarters, right? And that’s with sharing the workload. What do you think he could do with his own team? It’s something that you have to think about. He could succeed, he could fail but as a competitor, you have to wonder if he will try it at some point and you have to wonder if they can afford to pay everyone. But that’s not something that I have to worry about, that’s something that their team has to worry about. I was just making an observation and people like it and some people hated it.”

On fans not enjoying the NBA Playoffs due the Warriors sweeping every series and blowing out every team…

CJ McCollum: “I hate watching it, too. I’m a guy who plays in the league and I’m friends with a lot of these guys. Everyone wants to see a competitive game, everyone wants to see a close game. So when you see blowouts or when you see the Cavs are competing at a high level, they’re right in the game, they’re down four or five and then there’s a run where it’s three-pointer, three-pointer, dunk, three-pointer, steal and the game just changes right away. It’s hard to watch. As a fan, as an athlete, as a player, but you like it as a competitor. You look forward to the opportunity of playing them again, you look forward to the opportunity of knocking off, historically, one of the greatest teams to ever lace ‘em up. Fourteen straight wins in the playoffs, Steve Kerr has the best winning percentage in the history of the NBA. They’re a very good team, they have every right to get the treatment they get and to get the accolades, attention of the national media that they get.”

On LeBron James’ answer to a reporters question about the need to “defend homecourt”…

CJ McCollum: “First of all, I think it’s hilarious (James) didn’t go to the podium, but I guess that’s another topic. But I think, as a guy who majored in journalism and is around it, there’s good questions and there’s not-so-good questions. And that goes under the category of Not a Very Good Question.”

On McCollum’s decision to forgo free agency and sign an extension last summer…

CJ McCollum: “Well for starters, I’m thankful to be a part of the organization in Oregon. I love the organization, I think that they’ve given me a lot of trust, they’ve given me a lot of room to grow and develop and be myself and I’m eternally and forever grateful for it. I believe in loyalty and I believe in karma. They worked with me, I had injuries early on and they gave me a chance to improve and get better and I owed it to the community, I owed it to the organization to continue to get better. I felt like it was in my better interest to stay in that city and continue to develop as a person and player. I was able to get an extension and play another four years in a city I love and a city I just bought a house in. That was my reasoning for staying. I just love the city, I love everything about it. I think we can build some great things there and have special moments in the future.”

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