The NBA's most improved player was rewarded with a lucrative new contract with the Portland Trail Blazers last Monday.
Three years after being drafted 10th overall out of Lehigh University, CJ McCollum signed a four-year, $106 million contract extension, keeping the league's most improved player in Rip City through at least 2021.
The Blazers held a press conference on Friday to celebrate the new contract.
"It was probably the most important piece of offseason business we had was to make sure that we were as committed to one another as we expected to be based on the relationship we have," said General Manager Neil Olshey.
After posting career highs across the board in his third season, McCollum proved he could not only play alongside Damian Lillard, but also run points when Lillard needs a breather.
"The biggest thing is just continuing to strive for greatness. I played 80 regular season games, this is my first full season of understanding scouting reports. I am actually on the scouting reports now instead of being the guy you kind of, 'oh he's the back up and he can shoot.' That is kind of how the scouting report went for a lot of teams. Understanding now that the role is going to increase, the pressure is going to increase and I look forward to the challenge of representing my last name to the best of my abilities," said McCollum.
For McCollum, it has been and always will be, family first.
"It's made me who I am. I have told the story about my mom asking, does she need to go back to work? Just being honest and blunt, not sugarcoating it."
Now McCollum will be up for more blunt, yet constructive criticism from his parents as basketball is where his heart is.
"It's a game I have played since I was a kid and I try not to take the fun away from it because when you take the fun away from it, then it becomes a job. And when it becomes a job, it feels like you are forced to go and I am not forced to go. I enjoy it, I love it."
McCollum's new deal kicks in next season. This season starts off with training camp in late September.
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