PORTLAND, Ore. — With his new puppy Fiona on his lap, CJ McCollum is finding new ways to stay busy with the NBA season on hold.
"She tries to run from me, but she's doing well. We just went on a nature walk and I didn't wipe her paws, so the couch is ruined," said McCollum. "She's doing well, we've officially adopted her."
He also donated $170,000 to charity; giving $100,000 to the Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank in his home state of Ohio and $70,000 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metro.
"I have family that has been laid off, I have family that is struggling right now, trying to figure things out and can only imagine how many people across the world are going through this same thing," said McCollum. "Obviously the ties here in Oregon are important to me and the Boys & Girls Clubs, in particular, has been a part of my life forever."
The Portland Trail Blazers played their last game on March 10 and there's no telling when it's coming back due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Really just waiting it out, I've said it before the biggest thing is safety and making sure everyone is safe. Obviously you want to play, I want to play and get out there in front of fans, preferably," said McCollum. "I am holding out hope that we are going to return at some point, I don't know if that's true or not, but as a player, you look forward to the chance to compete, especially since we're almost to the playoffs."
Despite team facilities shut down, McCollum says he's staying in game shape.
"It's hard, 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. This is the situation I'm in and I'm cool with it, but actually being able to shoot would be great."
McCollum doesn't have a court at home, so getting buckets has been a challenge. Former Trail Blazer Meyers Leonard offered up his court.
"I haven't shot a basketball in at least two weeks."
According to ESPN, the NBA plans to televise an old fashioned game of HORSE involving current players, but don't expect McCollum to be one of them.
"I'm not very good at HORSE, if someone dunks or does something too well, I'm automatically losing."
While he plays the waiting game, McCollum is embracing quarantine life.
"I don't think I've ever let my hair grow this long before. I'm like day 30 no haircut, no shaving, who cares?" McCollum smiles. "I'm staying in the house anyway. What's the point?"