Trail Blazers

CJ McCollum and Kyle Lowry share stories of their path to the NBA

Trail Blazers
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As players return to their NBA markets and gear up for the 2021-22 season, CJ McCollum is getting in his workouts, walks with his dog, and chatting it up with six-time All-Star Kyle Lowry on the latest Pull Up Podcast.

McCollum and Lowry discussed everything from what it was like the moment the confetti dropped and Lowry was crowned an NBA champion in 2019 to what it will be like for Lowry in Miami.

But the two also recalled their path to becoming an NBA star.

Their brothers were a big influence in their life and a key piece in getting their basketball careers on the right path.

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“Growing up in a single family home, I had my mom, my grandma, and my brother,” Lowry said. “It was one of those things where my brother is my father… He is the guy that you look up to… You look for him for advice.”


He was the guy that pushed me and let me be… He kept me out of the bs… and being around the wrong people.

-- Kyle Lowry on the Pull Up Podcast

McCollum reiterated how important it was to have a brother as such a big supporter.

“I think it’s important for people to understand that a lot of times in our journeys someone sees the dream and believes in us before we do,” McCollum said.

McCollum’s brother, Errick McCollum, put together bios and game film of CJ in high school and sent it out to colleges to get CJ more widely recruited.  

Lowry also shared stories about his college days at Villanova and his early days with the Memphis Grizzlies. The rookie battled with Mike Conley for the starting point guard position while playing through injuries. 

And even when Lowry was told he wouldn’t get significant minutes in Memphis with Conley and Damon Stoudamire on the roster, he didn’t let doubt creep in.  

“I never put doubt in myself. After every game I would shoot, I would run, I would workout on the court… All that stuff continues to build character to say, ‘yo, things ain’t going to be perfect,’ but you have to stick with your gut and believe in yourself.”

And now after nine seasons in Toronto, Lowry is heading to South Beach. It’s going to be fun to see how he transitions to playing for coach Erik Spoelstra.

Listen to the entire Pull Up Pod with CJ McCollum and Kyle Lowry right here.