The Open Floor podcast doesn’t do a lot of interviews or guest stars. Ben Golliver made an exception for C.J. McCollum, a Most Improved Player winner in the NBA and borderline All-Star in the Western Conference. Golliver asked him the most Open Floor questions possible, zeroing in on a number of topics including the NBA draft, LeBron James Jr. and more.
The topic of the moment, however, is free agency and LeBron James is the biggest target on the market. With that in mind, Golliver talked to McCollum about how James should announce his free agency decision. McCollum is a candid guy. He does a lot of media, so he was comfortable discussing every aspect of the issue.
Ben Golliver: This is Ben Golliver with the Open Floor podcast, we’re proud to welcome a special guest, C.J. McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers. C.J., how is it going this afternoon?
C.J. McCollum: I’m doing well, man. Appreciate you having me on.
Golliver: Everyone wants to talk LeBron James free agency and the easy question is to ask is where’s he going to go. I’m not going to ask you that question. I’m going to ask you a better one: How should he announce his decision?
I know I’ve seen you do stuff with the Players Tribune, I believe you had a column in our magazine when you were drafted, obviously you’ve got a podcast, so you understand this space well.
If you were LeBron James or if you were in his shoes this summer and he’s previously done The Decision on TV and wrote the letter with Lee Jenkins in 2014. If you had sort of all eyes on you in 2018 to break big free agency news, how would you go about releasing that news?
McCollum: I think you put the power in your own hands. He’s empowered the Boys and Girls club, he’s empowered this organization by generating so much fun and obviously with The Decision raised millions and millions of dollars to organizations and kids who are underprivileged and in need of certain things.
The other decision where he wrote the article with Sports Illustrated and Lee Jenkins just allowed him to kind of step away from the spotlight, make the article, step away and sort of step off into the sunset, so to speak. And this year, him being in the league for 15-plus years, he’s more mature, he’s older, he’s gone through the gauntlet of people trying to discredit him or being upset with the things he’s done or ways he’s done it.
So now he’s at the point where he doesn’t need to care what people think about him. He’s going to do what’s best for himself and his family, and I think, again, some of the platforms he uses, whether that be Instagram or Twitter or his own personal Uninterrupted, along with the other media companies that he started from the ground up. He may partner with one of his own companies and then release it to his social media, one of those avenues.
I think that’s the safest and easiest way to build your own company and have a safe, easy message out there to where it’s not a big show or a big scene and then he can enjoy the rest of his summer.
Golliver: I’m glad you mentioned Instagram. This is my pet theory. I did a story on Instagram and their success in the NBA community. Can you imagine how crazy it would be if he just put out a message, sent out a press release and was like, ‘I’m going to announce my decision at 3 p.m. on Instagram Live. Tune in’? How many millions of followers do you think he would add during that couple hour time period? How many people do you think would be watching that simultaneously? That would be a crazy event, don’t you think?
McCollum: I’m not going to lie to you, I would for sure log in and watch it live, and I think he has millions of followers and millions of people who aren’t interested in basketball who would be interested in seeing where he’s going to go.
Golliver: Yeah, I think that’s how he should do it. That’s my personal pick. LeBron, if you’re listening, follow my advice. I won’t steer you wrong.