Video: Blazers’ CJ McCollum says ‘we can’t live a normal life anymore’ in era of social media trolls
CJ McCollum spoke to the true nature of being an NBA star, often having to deal with the social media repercussions even after the NBA season, often tormented by trolls on Twitter, Instagram, and various other platforms. The Portland Trail Blazers guard took part in a new ESPN+ series alongside Kevin Durant, “The Boardroom,” as the two discussed the new era of player-fan interaction:
Durant: “I troll a little bit, especially with this guy over here.”
McCollum: “Nothing with KD and I breaking the internet. I think you can’t live a normal life anymore. You can’t go on vacation, you can’t post happy pictures, you’re supposed to be depressed. Everything comes back to you losing the game and them telling you to get in the gym. The one I remember the most, I was in my rookie year … every time I went into the game and played, they would send me pictures of a trash can and say ‘you’re trash.'”
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) March 15, 2019
The panel, which included ESPN analyst and former NBA player Jay Williams and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, carefully delineated how life has changed for athletes nowadays thanks to media consumption and social media, which has resulted in frustration for some of the biggest names in the game.
Even CJ McCollum admitted to responding to some who dare come at him through the Twitterverse:
McCollum: “Every one out of 10, I’m responding for sure,” said McCollum. “I’m going to the avi, I’m checking out your life story …”
Williams: “Are you sure that’s one out of 10? ‘Cause I’m sure I’ve seen you go 10-for-10.”
McCollum: “Maybe two out of five.”
NBA players surely deal with more of the media microcosm today than they ever did in yesteryear’s game, but also are more connected to fans, sometimes for the better, and sometimes not for the best of reasons.