McCollum has been able to put his health struggles in the past and focus on what’s important, like being a father and husband.

CJ McCollum is an NBA player who was drafted by the Portland Trail Blazers in 2013. He has been a key contributor to their success and led them to the Western Conference Finals during his first year. However, he is also known for being one of the most humble players in the league. He recently revealed how he feared he wouldn’t be able to hoop again after collapsing his lung last season.

Blazers guard CJ McCollum Feared He 'Wouldn't Be Able to Hoop Again' After Collapsed Lung, but He's Found Peace In His Life

ORLANDO, Fla. — Perspective has a way of sneaking up on you and surprising you when you least expect it. A strong dose of perspective came over Portland Trail Blazers star guard CJ McCollum during the toughest moment of his professional career, and it eventually gave him with a huge sense of calm.

Fear gripped McCollum in early December when it was discovered that what he believed was a rib injury was really a collapsed lung on his right side. In what has already been a challenging season for the Trail Blazers, that injury sidelined the star guard for six weeks and 17 games. That terrifying injury and low time, however, turned into a moment McCollum says he will never forget.

“I believe this is the happiest and most at peace I’ve ever been in my life,” McCollum said on Monday night, after returning to basketball following a six-week layoff.

CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers pondered if he would ever play again.


Portland-Trail-Blazers-CJ-McCollum-1024x689 CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers drives past Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony at Amway Center on Monday. Due to a collapsed lung, McCollum played for the first time in six weeks on Monday. | Getty Images/Mike Ehrmann)

CJ McCollum was left with what he believed were painful ribs after a collision against the Boston Celtics on Dec. 4. As if beginning the season with an atypical 11-13 record wasn’t terrible enough, McCollum’s anxieties were compounded when an Oregon pulmonologist diagnosed him with a collapsed lung.

“You fear the worst when you hear ‘collapsed lung,’” the guard said after scoring 16 points in his first NBA game in six weeks on Monday night. “At first, I’m wondering whether I’ll be okay.” Then there’s the question of ‘Will I be able to hoop again?’ I was thinking whether I had to leave the NBA after nine years?”

Doctors eventually informed McCollum, 30, that his damage was rather common and that if he could be patient, he could make a complete recovery. The most difficult aspect, according to McCollum, who has always prided himself on being in peak physical shape, was basically “doing nothing” for many weeks.

McCollum had a silver lining at a moment when he was at his lowest. JK9MzJ0O4

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McCollum claimed that being able to stay at home with his wife, Elise, during the last weeks of her pregnancy relieved him after he was originally depressed about his injuries. It reminded him of last season, when he fractured his foot and needed to take time off from basketball to care for his wife when her grandma passed away.

McCollum remained away from the Blazers on purpose in order to avoid bringing the COVID infection into his house and around his pregnant wife. New Blazers coach Chauncey Billups, on the other hand, claimed he texted or spoke with McCollum after practically every game. On a regular basis, the guard raved about the development Blazers rookies Anfernee Simons and Nassir Little were making.

Elise gave birth to the couple’s first child, a boy named Jacobi James McCollum, one minute past midnight on Jan. 10, just as McCollum was beginning to ramp up his on-court activities in preparation for a comeback. McCollum said seeing his 8-pound, 1-ounce kid melts him in a manner that no NBA defense has ever been able to.

“He’s like a tiny angel,” the pleased father remarked, describing his son as “so innocent and sweet.” “You can tell that he has my nose, my huge nose, and her eyelashes, as well as her hair, since I have nappy hair.”

“I’m like, ‘Whatever,’ even when he’s sobbing,” McCollum added proudly. “I’m attempting to change a diaper at 4 a.m., and there aren’t many things that provide pleasure in such conditions, and I don’t want to compromise my sleep for anything — but for him, I’ve never been more happy to change a diaper.” Now I see he’s peed in his diaper, which is OK. “What color is his feces today?” I inquire.

McCollum believes that his inner serenity may help him be a better basketball player.

The Blazers and first-year head coach Chauncey Billups have had a difficult season. When McCollum was out, Portland lost seven games in a row, and standout guard Damian Lillard is now out indefinitely after undergoing abdominal surgery. The Blazers have begun a comeback around big man Jusuf Nurkic and teenagers Simons and Little after hitting rock bottom at 14-24.

Portland won for the fourth time in five games on Monday, with McCollum returning and scoring 16 points in 28 minutes.

McCollum feels that the calm and pleasure he is experiencing in his personal life may be transferred to the basketball floor. When his lung collapsed, he was averaging 20.6 points a game, and he believes he’ll be even better in the future.

McCollum added, “I’m in a position that maybe only dads can connect to.” “You have a clear idea of what’s essential to you, as well as a goal.” I’ve always had a sense of purpose, but now it’s to be a decent guy and raise my kid to the best of my ability.

“Now that I know where my family is at, I can see the pleasure on my wife’s face and know everything is well.” When the home is steady and sturdy, it makes things simpler,” McCollum remarked. “When everything at home is in order, it’s lot simpler to play, work, and go out into the real world.”

“I’m in a completely different place than I was at the beginning of the season,” he continued. “Other nights I’ll perform brilliantly, and some nights I won’t, but there will be consistency in my home.”

All of the quotations in the report were received directly from the source. provided the statistics.

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