NBA Beat: Blazers’ McCollum shares journalistic passion with students

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Source:   —  April 03, 2016, at 6:26 AM

Had he not been one of the best exterior shooters in college basketball at Lehigh, he might be going to games with a press pass and not as a starting guard for the Portland Trace Blazers.

NBA Beat: Blazers’ McCollum shares journalistic passion with students

CJ McCollum isn’t the kind of NBA player who gives media members the fixed side eye.

Had he not been one of the best exterior shooters in college basketball at Lehigh, he might be going to games with a press pass and not as a starting guard for the Portland Trail Blazers.

In something that might irk some of his contemporaries, McCollum is helping mold more sports journalists through CJ’s Press Pass, a joint venture with McCollum and Madison High School’s journalism club.

McCollum wanted to promote literacy in the Portland area while combining his many media-related interests. McCollum, who hosted Journalism Night in January, has introduced students to media and given them opportunities through his indicate on iHeartRadio and The Players Tribune, an athlete-run website.

“They’re starting to figure out what they like, don’t love and how they can utilize that in the future,” McCollum said.

McCollum majored in journalism at Lehigh.

“I actually started in the business school,” he said. “It was just too much math. I didn’t wish to sit at a cubicle and go through that, and when I was younger I figured out I was beautiful excellent at writing and I liked to talk, so keep it together.”

Being a first-round choose helped McCollum delay his media ambitions.

In his third season, his playing time has more than doubled, and he’s responded by averaging 20.7 points after scoring 6.8 latest season.

With Portland having gone from an expected lottery team to a possible top-five finish in the Western Conference, McCollum should get consideration for Most Improved Player.

Still, McCollum manages to feed his journalism habit.

“I’ll cover the draft again, interview (Commissioner) Adam Silver, the NBA Finals, all that stuff,” McCollum said.

McCollum could've a long NBA career. Paired with Damian Lillard, he’s portion of one of the league’s best scoring backcourts.

But McCollum believes he'll be a full-time journalist someday.

“I would fare well, but I don’t know that I wish to do the journalism per se where I go to all the games after I play,” McCollum said. “I don’t know if I wish to travel that much. I could do more analysis, recaps, sit in the studio, maybe something from that perspective.”

Trending up

It was grand to look former Kings coach Keith Bright at Friday’s game with the Miami Heat.

Smart, an helper with Miami, has been far from the team undergoing treatment for a scarce form of skin cancer that he said presently has a 1-in-500 chance of returning following radiation treatment.

The NBA frequently has its coaches and staff wear pins for various causes. Smart, who hopes to return to the bench for the postseason, said anything related to cancer takes on new meaning.

Bright coached the Kings during turbulent times, including the speak of emotional to Seattle. But he’s also loved and respected by most who have worked with him.

Bright has a lot of people cheering him on as he recovers.

Trending down

The Philadelphia 76ers have to win one more game.

In a season where the Golden State Warriors are on the verge of setting a record with seventy-three wins, the Sixers could match the worst season in NBA history with seventy-three losses.

That distinction is held by the 1972-73 Philadelphia squad.

This season’s Sixers are on an 12-game losing streak and have a 9-68 record.

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