Portland Trail Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers

It's been exactly 20 days since the NBA shutdown teams' training facilities and it's been nearly a month since the league was suspended. 

The only Trail Blazers currently allowed to enter the practice facility are those still receiving treatment during their rehab-- Jusuf Nurkic, Zach Collins, Rodney Hood. 

As players do their at home workouts and continue to try their best to stay in shape, it’s not the same as being able to go to team’s training facilities and get in their typical workouts.

During a Trail Blazers video conference Wednesday, shooting guard CJ McCollum described what he thinks the process would look like if in fact they are cleared to resume play this summer.

I think the first thing we would have to do is get in shape. Game shape -- obviously, we are all trying to workout. We’re trying to do what we can at home. Some people are going on runs, maybe riding bikes. I have a stationary bike… But, it’s not the same as physically getting up and down and playing on the basketball court so I think you have to take some time to kind of go through that process, that period of one-on-one, two-on-two, three-on-three, five-on-five -- getting up and down full court, that’ll be very helpful. -- CJ McCollum

From playing one-on-one to three-on-three, McCollum believes that teams would then be able to transition that to getting back and competing in full court scrimmages.

 

But that’s the thing -- it will be a process.

It’s not as if NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is going to clear players to return to their practice facilities and then bam!! -- We’ve got NBA games that week or even that following week or two.

There are players out there who have discussed how fortunate they are to have a nice home gym, like Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard, and how they are still able to get in somewhat normal workouts. But, that’s not the case for many of the players, especially the younger ones.

“I think it would take us some time to say the least, especially depending on when we would end up starting,” McCollum said.  “This is like day 28, so that’s 28 days for most guys that haven’t shot a basketball, most guys haven’t been on a court in general unless you have one or are going outside, but it’s still not the same as playing an actual game or an actual practice.”

The 28-year-old also mentioned that it is his rhythm that he is more concerned about at this point.

McCollum and his teammates are in constant communication with Trail Blazers Sports Performance Specialist Todd Forcier.

“I told Todd the other day, I’ll stay close. I’m like a week away” of being in game shape.

Forcier has been assembling stationary bikes for a few of the players including Nassir Little and Zach Collins, who have limited workout access in their current living situations.

The Trail Blazers are doing their best to stay connected and stay in shape with Zoom video conferencing.  

A few of the players have been doing Zoom yoga classes that McCollum said he was missing Wednesday's class because of the Zoom press conference, but he’ll catch up on the workout later.

The Trail Blazers starting shooting guard reiterated that he knows he needs to stay within striking distance of being able to play an NBA game. That is why he is staying “at least one week away” from being able to get up and down the court effectively.

If we were to come back we wouldn’t be able to play a game for at least a few weeks, is my guess -- Trail Blazers shooting guard CJ McCollum

McCollum does not have a basketball court at his home, but this quarantine has made him rethink that.

 

“It’s hard to train in a way that’s effective when you don’t have all the resources, and I’m not complaining about it, like this is the situation that I’m in, I’m cool with it, but to actually be able to shoot would be great. I thought about buying a court.”

Former Blazers big man Meyers Leonard is helping out his former teammate, though. The Leonards still own their house in West Linn and have already reached out to McCollum about him using their court.

“I’m actually thinking about going to Meyers’ house. Meyers has a court that they said I could use their little basketball court. So I’d be able to go get some shots up… Even if you go buy a court or whatever the case may be, it’s not the same as like the normal workouts you’ll go through, the normal stuff that I’ll be doing to kind of prepare for the season and for games,” McCollum said.  

“I haven’t shot a basketball in at least two weeks,” McCollum added.

Being able to get shots up for McCollum and the rest of the Blazers who don't have a basketball court at home would probably be more of a positive thing mentally than physically at this point in the hiatus.