CJ McCollum Writes For Maxim About Rookie Transitions Program
The annual NBA Rookie Transitions Program, the four-day event in New Jersey were the league tries to school incoming players about life in the NBA and how to avoid some of the pitfalls associated with it, took place last month. Both of Portland's rookies, CJ McCollum and Allen Crabbe, were there with the rest of their first-year peers.
McCollum must have paid extra close attention, as he wrote a pretty long piece for Maxim about the experience
The funny thing is that a lot of us talked about how we weren’t that excited about going to RTP before it started. I thought to myself, ‘I don’t want to do this. I just want to work out and get ready for the season, especially since I already went to college, so what can they tell me that I don’t already know?’ I was very wrong. We learned so much and I feel so much more prepared for my career in the NBA after attending RTP. My friend Anthony Bennett, who happens to be the first overall pick from this year’s draft, told me pretty much the same thing: “Coming into this, I thought it was going to just be a lot of long sessions of people talking at us, but everyone kept telling me to listen, and I really learned a lot.”
There were so many compelling speakers that spoke to us, but I think for me (and a lot of the other rookies too), a few really stood out and resonated with us. The story of NBA veteran Chris Herren was amazing. I’ll tell the short version. Chris was an unbelievable player who made it to the NBA (playing with the Celtics). He was only 24-years-old when he got into drugs and lost everything. The NBA was over for him, he lost his family, almost died, went to jail. Thankfully, he was able to get his life back together in 2008 and today he shares his story in an effort to help others from falling into drug addiction.
Then there was Reggie Shaw, who talked to us about texting and driving. Reggie killed two men while texting and driving on a Utah highway about seven years ago. It was a sad story and makes you think twice about picking up your phone while behind the wheel.
Tony A. Gaskins also spoke to us about his past experiences. Tony is a former college football player who is now a motivational speaker focused on preaching about premarital sex. He emphasized how crucial it is to stop thinking and acting like a grown boy and be a man.
McCollum also writes about being prepared for life, particularly the financial side, after basketball, how his life has changed since being drafted and getting to know some of his fellow rookies outside of basketball. It's a nice read. CJ must have been paying attention during all those journalism courses at Lehigh.