New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum says he knew the trade to the Pelicans was about to happen so he wasn't surprised when NBA reporters broke down the news. Prior to Thursday's NBA trade deadline, the Portland Trail Blazers sent McCollum to New Orleans.
McCollum has now told his story of how it all went down. "You know how I know it’s been real?" McCollum wrote in his contribution for The Players' Tribune. "I didn’t get Woj bombed. I didn’t get Sham’d.
I didn’t wake up to 100 text messages from my friends and family freaking out. There was no drama. I actually knew this was coming. "As crazy and cold-hearted as this business can be sometimes, in this case everything was truly transparent and honest.
That's how strong my bond with the Blazers organization is. We knew that this chapter, as beautiful as it’s been, was coming to an end. "And shoutout to my guy Chris Haynes, but I have to tell the inside story of this thing myself.
This is so personal to me that it’s only right."
McCollum was with Damian Lillard the night before
"It's actually funny because the night before the trade went down, I was in the locker room with Dame, and we were just cracking jokes and talking, and right as I was about to go into the steam room, my phone rang.
And if you know me, then you know I always have it on Do Not Disturb. Except with everything going on around the deadline, I put my agent in Favorites so his calls would go through no matter what," McCollum continued. "So when the phone rang, it was like that horror movie kind of ring.
Everybody stopped. I looked down at my phone, and I saw that it was him. "And Dame was just looking at me like, “Oh damn, is this it? Is it really happening?” "We had been talking about the trade rumors for so long that it was almost like a joke to us, you know? It was like we’d talk around it, because it was just too much.
It wouldn’t sink in. "I’m like, “Hold on, lemme see what’s going on. I might be right back”. "I went out into the hallway, and my agent told me that things were coming together with New Orleans, but that it wasn’t a done deal yet.
He told me to hold tight. So I walked back in the locker room like, “Not yet!!! I’m still here, bro!!”" McCollum revealed at 6 a.m. the next morning his agent called him to tell him the trade was official.
McCollum and Lillard badly wanted to bring Portland an NBA title but in the end fell short. The Trail Blazers are now hitting the rebuild mode and hoping to build a championship team.