Kevin Love opens up to CJ McCollum on the latest Pull Up podcast

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Kevin Love opens up to CJ McCollum on the latest Pull Up podcast

Episode No. 71 of the ‘Pull Up Podcast with CJ McCollum’ addresses mental health and the crucial balance between an NBA player’s social life and work life.

On this latest podcast, McCollum and NBA analyst Jordan Schultz take a deep dive on the physical and mental aspects of NBA players’ lives.

This episode also has an extra special Portland connection.

Special guest 5x NBA All-Star and NBA Champion Kevin Love joins the discussion.

This is the first edition of a two part series. Love talks about each phase of his career and making sure he continues to taking care of himself.   

From his start at Lake Oswego High School, OR to winning a championship with Lebron James, this podcast takes you through Love’s journey of how he became the player he is today as he get sets to enter his 12th season in the league.

Love recently addressed how he has been battling mental health issues when he wrote about it in ‘The Players’ Tribune’ back in May.

Love and McCollum talk more about Love's mental health and depression issues on the podcast.  

“If you kill the body, the mind will die,” Love told McCollum.

 

“Working on what’s between the ears… I think that’s lost on so many guys and we play such a long drawn out season… You do have to find some sort of break,” Love continued.   

NBA fans appreciate Love and McCollum’s honesty and how the two opened up on this latest podcast.

Love also discussed what he does in the offseason to get his mind right. During the summer Love focuses on meditation as well as attending talk therapy sessions.

The podcast was a chance for Love to reminisce about growing up in Oregon, too.

“I grew up in Nike’s backyard… I’ve developed lifelong friendships from my backyard in Beaverton, Oregon,” Love said.

The soon to be 31-year-old also talked about being overweight earlier in his basketball career and how he’s worked to stay in shape.

Love’s work ethic has been inspiring other Trail Blazers this summer.  Blazers forward Mario Hezonja had to kick it up a notch with his personal workout. Or to be exact, he had to add five pounds.

LISTEN TO THE PULL UP PODCAST ON APPLE PODCAST HERE.

LISTEN ON SPOTIFY RIGHT HERE.

The NBA Rookies sure do love Damian Lillard

The NBA Rookies sure do love Damian Lillard

One thing is for sure here in the city of Portland - We love Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard. Well, we aren't the only ones, folks. It appears the newest batch of NBA rookies love him too. 

According to the annual NBA Rookie Survey, Damian Lillard is one of the more liked players in the league. Of the 42 rookies surveyed, 38% voted for LeBron James, 20% voted for Kevin Durant, and Lillard and Kawhi Leonard tied for third place with 8% of the vote. 

While he didn't finish in the Top 5, Lillard's backcourt mate CJ McCollum was among the "others receiving votes." That's saying something, considering Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry received 0% of the vote.

Lillard and McCollum weren't the only Blazers players being shown some love. It appears Blazers rookie Nassir Little is well respecting among his 2019 draft class peers.  

Little finished in third place with 5% of the vote in the category "which rookie was the biggest steal at where he was selected in the draft?" If you don't remember, Little was a projected lottery pick but slipped all the way to No.25 where the Blazers quickly grabbed him. He was considered a steal on draft night, and the rest of the rookies agree. 

The Blazers rookie also could be a force on the defensive side of the ball in this league. According to the survey, the rookies consider Little one of the best defenders in the class. In that category Little finished in third place with 8% of the vote, tied with Brandon Clarke and Jaxson Hayes.

The rookies and the rest of the league will get a chance to see Lillard, McCollum, Little and the rest of the Blazers when they open up preseason play against the Denver Nuggets on October 8th.  

The Scoop: Is this the year CJ McCollum becomes an All-Star?

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The Scoop: Is this the year CJ McCollum becomes an All-Star?

The latest Scoop livestream is brought you by Toyota of Portland.

This week on The Scoop, our Trail Blazers reporter Jamie Hudson and host of ‘The Bridge’ Justin Meyers take you around the NBA, and get you caught up on all things Trail Blazers as we get closer and closer to training camp!

Of course, with the NBA releasing the 2019-20 regular season schedules earlier this week that means it’s time to look ahead! The Blazers tip-off the regular season at home against the Denver Nuggets on October 23rd and all of Rip City is counting down…

Here’s a quick rundown of Thursday’s show:

Jamie and Justin find out Trail Blazers fans initial thoughts on this year’s regular season schedule. Also, they discuss the Blazers 50th anniversary court unveiling that happened earlier this week. 

Plus, the two debate --

Will CJ McCollum make the All-Star team this year?

In 2016, McCollum singed his first $100 million dollar contract. At that point, he was the fourth non-All-Star to have signed that large of a contract.

But, is this the season for CJ?

Of course, being an All-Star depends a lot on your team’s success. The Blazers are coming off a season in which they made it to the Western Conference Finals and McCollum showcased his consistency throughout that postseason run.

Injuries to other stellar backcourt players could also help McCollum on receiving his first All-Star nod this season.

Watch the FULL EPISODE of The Scoop right here:

Summer Scoop

Is this the year CJ McCollum becomes an All-Star? Let’s discuss! The Scoop brought to you by Toyota of Portland starts now 😎

Posted by NBC Sports Northwest on Thursday, August 15, 2019

Early thoughts on the Portland Trail Blazers 2019-2020 NBA Schedule

Early thoughts on the Portland Trail Blazers 2019-2020 NBA Schedule

The Trail Blazers will be welcoming three new players to their starting lineup this season after a summer of change resulted in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum looking at an entirely new starting frontline from the one they played alongside during last season’s playoff run to the Western Conference finals.

And they will be getting to know their new teammates mostly on the road when the 2019-20 season begins.

[RELATED: Trail Blazers 2019-2020 NBA Schedule]

After a season-opening home opener against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, Oct. 23, the NBA schedule-makers are sending Portland on the road for four games at Sacramento, Dallas, San Antonio and Oklahoma City before returning to Portland for a game against the Philadelphia 76ers. Then it’s right back on the road for contests at Golden State (in that new arena in San Francisco) and the Los Angeles Clippers. So the new-look Blazers will open the season with six of their first eight games and 13 of their first 18 on the road.

But the end of the season is a different story. The Trail Blazers get five of their final six games at home, including the last contest of the season – the only home matchup against the Clippers all year.

And while Portland is not scheduled for a Christmas Day game this season, the Blazers are going to be all over the national-television schedule. The team will play 10 games on TNT, nine games on ESPN, including the home opener, and even once in a rare afternoon home game on ABC – a 12:30 p.m. contest March 15 vs. Houston. The Blazers were scheduled for five TNT games last season and six on ESPN.

The Blazers have two six-game road trips, one in late November and another in March. As usual, the schedule also includes a game that just wouldn’t fit on anyone’s logical itinerary. The Blazers begin a five-game trip on New Year’s Day in New York, then play at Washington, before moving to Miami, then Toronto and Minnesota. Packing for that trip will be interesting. Portland makes two trips to Florida – the opposite corner of the country – to meet that state’s two teams.

In another scheduling quirk, after that hard-fought, second-round playoff series vs. Denver last spring, the Blazers meet the Nuggets twice during the exhibition season and then open the season against them.

All in all, not a great schedule. But not a bad one, either. And a lot of new respect from the national television networks.

Social Media Roundup: The weekend that was for your Portland Trail Blazers

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Anferfee Simons IG

Social Media Roundup: The weekend that was for your Portland Trail Blazers

It was an eventful weekend for your Portland Trail Blazers on social media. ICYMI, get all caught up right here:

Damian Lillard took to this twitter account to ask some questions coming off his third album release. Normally Dame fields the questions, but today he was asking!

As the conversation spun into his dual life as a basketball player and a rapper, we were treated to a throwback RT of last year's "training video" that was used to mock haters telling him to get in the gym more:

Even Jusuf Nurkic got in on the action. Who knew the Bosian Beast was a Taylor Swift fan?

Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum was back home doing some work for a kids camp and surely wasn't going to miss out on his grandma's 80th birthday!

New big man Pau Gasol spent some time in Spain with athletes preparing for the Paralympic Team.

And lastly, Anfernee Simons held his youth basketball camp this weekend in Florida

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Day 1 of camp ✅✅

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Another team-bonding Trail Blazers' San Diego trip is 'probably' happening in September

Another team-bonding Trail Blazers' San Diego trip is 'probably' happening in September

TUALATIN – Now that CJ McCollum has officially signed his three-year contract extension with Portland, and the Trial Blazers roster has been finalized, the anticipation for the 2019-20 season in Portland continues to grow.

What’s next for the Trail Blazers in the immediate future?

According to McCollum there will “probably” be a team-bonding trip to San Diego.

At the Trail Blazers practice facility on Wednesday afternoon, the Blazers held a press conference to officially announce McCollum’s extension.

McCollum and Trail Blazers President of Basketball Operations Neil Olshey discussed the extension and offered up their thoughts on the offseason overall.   

It sounds like team building might be in order with just half the roster returning.

[RELATED]: CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard here to stay and McCollum is all about it

The Trail Blazers have been known to take a team trip to San Diego in September with Damian Lillard heading it up.

“I’m going to call Dame later today,” McCollum said at Wednesday’s press conference. “I think he’s in Phoenix right now… I’m going to talk to him and see what he wants to do. ” McCollum said.

McCollum went on to say with a big smile, “My schedule is pretty clear except for some Brown games, and vacation with my fiancée, so September is usually where I start two-a days and stuff like that.”  

[RELATED]: CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard's special relationship has McCollum eyeing NBA Finals

McCollum also mentioned that Trail Blazers Director of Security Rick Riley has suggested another San Diego trip or some type of outing.

“I think it could be very beneficial just because this is the first time in awhile where we had half the roster change. So, being able to kind of get more acclimated with everybody could be beneficial,” McCollum said.

Portland’s roster will consist of six new faces:

-- Nassir Little

-- Kent Bazemore

-- Anthony Tolliver

-- Mario Herzonja

-- Hassan Whiteside

-- Pau Gasol

Since consistency has been a key for the Trail Blazers over the years, there might be an adjustment period to see how the team will gel to start the season.

But, McCollum is not concerned that it will take long for the team to start to figure each other out. 

“I think it’ll take some time, but based on the type of players we’re bringing in, they understand their role… I think they way we play offensively and defensively; smart basketball players are going to be able to pick it up and I think we have a bunch of heady guys,” McCollum said.

McCollum is particularly looking forward to the new bigs: Hassan Whiteside and Pau Gasol.

“That was a big signing for us,” McCollum said of Gasol at McCollum’s kids basketball camp Tuesday. “I think he’s a big body who can help. He’s got championship pedigree, Hall of Famer, he knows how to play the game the right way. Obviously he has the skill set, he can pass, he can do those things, but I think his mentorship will be important.”

McCollum also shouted out, “we got shooter who can dribble!” doing his best Whiteside impression.

But all kidding aside, McCollum believes Whiteside will “fit in well.”

“He works hard,” McCollum said of Whiteside. “Obviously I’ve known him for some years, same agency, I’ve been to his house in Miami and we’ve talked over the course of the summer how he can fit into our offense and how he can help defensively. It’s going to be fun for him. It’s a new environment. I think it’s a fresh start for him and a different type of leadership here, a different type of chemistry and culture. He’ll be good for us, really good for us.”

McCollum is also not worried about any type of locker room concerns with Whiteside either.

“He understands what needs to be done, he’ll see when he gets here how we roll, how we do things, what’s acceptable and what’s not, and we’ll go from there,” McCollum said.

The San Diego trip could prove to be a kick-start to Portland's bonding, but it could also have a lasting bond that could help late in the season.

Which is of course is when it matters most as McCollum mentioned on Wednesday.

“The biggest thing is trying and peak towards April… And stay healthy, I like our chances.”

CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard's special relationship has McCollum eyeing NBA Finals

CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard's special relationship has McCollum eyeing NBA Finals

Trail Blazers fans know there are many reasons why Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have become one of the best backcourt duos in the league.

There are also many reasons why the two have become so close on and off the court.

The two have been determined to stay together and have long careers in Rip City.

“We’ve talked about this for a long time,” McCollum said. “We’ve talked about being in Portland, making a staple here, trying to win a championship here. All those things and we’ve crossed off a lot of goals individually and collectively, but I think that us both being here for the long haul, us both being able to grow together and win together is something that people will remember for a long time.”

McCollum wants to make sure he and Dame are smelling the roses along the way too.

“It’s sad but usually you don’t really appreciate things until it’s gone, so hopefully we can appreciate this moment and everyone else around it can appreciate it while we are here,” McCollum said.

A big reason for the on-court success between the two has been their genuine friendship. Their friendship has been well documented and talked about over the years, but on Tuesday, McCollum discussed exactly why he feels he and Lillard have such great chemistry.

“It was an authentic relationship, that wasn’t forced. It wasn’t like ‘alright, you’re teammates now you’ve got to be friends’ we knew each other before and just happen to become teammates and been able to build on a lot of things,” McCollum said.

“We’ve co-existed well and we’ll continue to only get better going forward,” McCollum added.

The duo isn’t afraid to give feedback on each other’s game either.

“Sometimes you need to be able to take criticism,” McCollum said when addressing how he and Lillard watch game film together on the plane during road trips.

The Blazers duo has tasted success and is dialed in on getting one step further.

NBA Finals featuring Lillard and McCollum is the next goal.

“If I can get better and he can get better, we were four wins away from going to the finals, little stuff matters during the regular season and in the playoffs,” McCollum said.

CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard here to stay and McCollum is all about it

CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard here to stay and McCollum is all about it

A big payday and a big first day of basketball camp.

Tuesday afternoon it was announced that Trail Blazers and guard CJ McCollum have agreed to a three-year, $100 million contract extension that will keep McCollum in Portland through the 2024 season. 

At the annual CJ McCollum camp, McCollum gave his initial thoughts on inking a new deal just two years into his current contract.  

“It’s an honor,” McCollum said. “It’s a blessing to be in this position, honestly. Growing up in Canton, Ohio, going to a small school, the career I’ve had early on and then to now, it’s a testament to hard work, it’s a testament to the organization, believing in me, having faith in me throughout my career and up to this point.”

“I’m looking forward to spending five more years here,” McCollum added.   

The Trail Blazers shooting guard admitted he never thought he would get a $100 million contract let alone two $100 million contracts.

“I was just trying to make it to the NBA, that was the goal, and once I got here I was trying to stick for as long as I could, figure out a way to be successful, figure out a way to help my team win, and be productive. I think I’ve done those things,” McCollum said.

The 27-year-old is heading into his seventh season in the league. His previous deal that he signed in 2016 was a five-year, $157 million contract. This new extension will start in 2021, which aligns with his backcourt mate as Damian Lillard agreed to a four-year, $196 million supermax extension earlier this summer, which runs through the 2025 season.

With Portland keeping with its theme of consistency in its backcourt duo, NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh, discussed how this is not the norm. 

“The most consistent duo in the NBA is in for the long haul,” Haberstroh said. “By inking C.J. McCollum to a reporter 3-year, $100 million extension, the Blazers have locked in their uber-reliable backcourt, Damian Lillard and McCollum, until 2023-24.”

“In the NBA’s player empowerment era where change is constant, the Blazers are the exception to the rule — and that’s even more impressive in a small market like Portland. McCollum took less than the max but it’s still a pretty steep price for someone who has never made the All-Star team. That said, he’d probably be an All-Star if he wasn’t playing in the loaded West. The Blazers will gladly pay a premium for his services and double down on continuity while they face what has seemingly become a league of rentals.”

The love for Portland

There were many factors that played a role into McCollum signing a contract extension with the only team he has ever played for in his NBA career.

A big reason was McCollum’s love for this team and for the city.  

“I had two years left on my current deal, but I’m happy with the situation I’m in,” McCollum said. “I love this city. I bought a home here. I look forward to potentially raising a family here. So, I think all those things played a factor.”

“Obviously it gives myself security, the team security, knowing that I’m not going to become a free agent in two seasons, and that kind of aligns me to continue to play alongside Dame, continuing to help build things, not only on the court, but in the community.”

Even with all the rumors and rumblings over the past few seasons that the Trail Blazers ‘should’ break up McCollum and Lillard, here we are.

McCollum and Lillard are here to stay; at least until the mid-2020s.

“I think it made sense for me, it made sense for the team, so I’m glad we were able to get it done,” McCollum said.

Now it’s about to getting after it after making his money.

“Getting paid is great, it’s a great feeling, but there’s more than that, more work to be done. I look forward to that part of it,” McCollum said.

Official: Trail Blazers sign CJ McCollum to multi-year contract extension

Official: Trail Blazers sign CJ McCollum to multi-year contract extension

The Portland Trail Blazers have signed guard CJ McCollum to a multi-year contract extension, it was announced today by president of basketball operations Neil Olshey.

The three-year extension keeps McCollum under contract through the 2023-24 season.  

“CJ McCollum is a franchise cornerstone and a critical part of our future,” said Olshey. “This extension represents a strong level of commitment between CJ, the Trail Blazers and the city of Portland.”

McCollum, 27, holds averages of 17.8 points (45.5% FG, 40.1% 3-PT, 83.9% FT), 3.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 0.87 steals in 411 games (314 starts) over six seasons with the Trail Blazers. The 12th leading scorer in franchise history (7,328 points), McCollum ranks seventh among franchise leaders in three-point shooting percentage, eighth in free throw percentage and third in three-pointers made (823).

Selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft out of Lehigh, McCollum is one of just six Trail Blazers to average at least 20.0 points in four NBA seasons. Winner of the NBA Most Improved Player Award in 2015-16, McCollum scored a career-high 50 points vs. Chicago on Jan. 31, 2018, making him one of seven Trail Blazers to reach the 50-point mark in franchise history.

In six consecutive trips to the playoffs that culminated in last season’s run to the Western Conference Finals, McCollum has averaged 19.6 points (43.9% FG, 39.4% 3-PT, 78.8% FT), 3.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 0.83 steals in 46 games (36 starts).

REPORT: CJ McCollum agree to a 3-year contract extension with Trail Blazers

REPORT: CJ McCollum agree to a 3-year contract extension with Trail Blazers

It looks like the Trail Blazers backcourt duo is here to stay for even longer in Portland.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Trail Blazers' guard CJ McCollum has agreed to a three-year contract extension.  

According to the report, McCollum’s current deal will extend to five years with Portland. The contract extension is worth $100 million.

The 27-year-old shooting guard reportedly became eligible for the extension last week.

According to Bobby Marks, McCollum’s extension will start in the 2021-22 season, the same season that the super max contract for Blazers All-Star point guard Damian Lillard will start.

McCollum was currently two years into his last extension, which was for $106 million over four years. McCollum has averaged at least 20 points per game in each of the last four seasons. The Trail Blazers No. 10th overall pick in the 2013.

draft has emerged as one of the league's top scorers of the dribble.

McCollum will be putting his opponents on skates in Rip City for the next five years, at least.    

We will get a chance to talk with McCollum later today during his media interview at his kids basketball camp in Beaverton. Be sure to check back at NBCSportsNorthwest.com.