Pull Up With CJ McCollum
Our Limited Access to Athletes
Athletes mainly communicate to the masses through the press. They often stand in their locker room or in front of a podium answering questions and offering sound bites, typically in a mundane manner and often relying on cliches to get by.
Athletes tend to be guarded and consciously strive to not offend teammates or coaches, alienate fans, or jeopardize sponsorships. Our access to athletes outside of their arena of play tends to remain of a highly-limited and sanitized nature.
While social media gave the promise of direct connection with personas and stars, it is often through a limited number of characters or even worse, it is scripted and pushed out by a management or public relations firm.
The Promising Medium Of Podcasts
Now enter podcasts, a medium that is long-form and unfettered by default, allowing for a type of extended glimpse into the world of athletes seldom enjoyed by fans up to this point in the history of sports.
Pull Up with CJ McCollum is such a podcast, offering access to the thoughts and expressions of one of the NBA’s bright, young stars, who also happens to have a degree in journalism.
While some NBA owners and coaches might shudder at the thought of one of their guys free flowing at a mic with no safety net or escape hatch, should they veer into a controversial territory of discussion, I think the execs and powers to be for the Portland Trailblazers can rest easy.
CJ McCollum comes off as a sharp and thoughtful man, and getting this type of access into the mind of a high-performing athlete is a fascinating treat.
Life Through Sport
Pull Up focuses heavily on basketball, as you would expect, but this is not just another talking head, pundit laden show dissecting highlights, the standings, or other general goings on of the league.
Pull Up is an intimate and honest expression of the challenges, hopes, and joys of what it is like to be a professional athlete in one of the most high-profile and star-studded sports leagues on the earth.
Just access alone to a professional athlete does not make a show, though. That is merely half the battle of producing a quality and compelling sports-centric podcast. The host needs to bring a style and authenticity to the broadcast with them.
Cliches and platitudes would get stale within minutes of the first episode and thankfully McCollum spares us from any typical locker room style speak, opting instead for openness.
McCollum Delivers The Goods
McCollum is smooth, vulnerable, and compelling in his vocal delivery and the quality of content is on par too. While he is not giving away trade secrets or dishing any scandalous dirt on teammates, he is also not shying away from tough topics or heady discussions.
Mental health, cannabis legalization in the NBA, and the isolation felt from injury have all been discussed so far in this brand new entry into the world of podcasts.
McCollum’s co-host Jordan Schultz, hailing from Yahoo Sports, seems to be a perfect complement, keeping the conversation intriguing and moving forward, while lending an obvious knowledge and welcomed opinion of the NBA.
Appeal For Many
I am not a massive NBA fan. I love my Philadelphia Sixers and watch their games, but my knowledge, awareness, and interest of the entire league are limited. That does not deter me from being entertained or getting drawn back to Pull Up.
While listening to the first few episodes I found myself becoming more interested in the league as a whole and especially interested in the thoughts and activities of McCollum. Having this kind of communication from a player in the league while the season is going on is a rare glimpse into the psyche of a high-level performer who is right in the heart of their battles.
From the limited episodes of this upstart show, Pull Up seems like it will be about the desires, joys, and struggles of life told through the platform of NBA basketball. McCollum does not waste any time bringing on star-studded guests either, quickly tapping his network to have the future hall of famer Dwayne Wade grace the show on episode #2.
For NBA fans, Pull Up is a must. For casual sports fans or for individuals attracted to content steeped in the culture of peak performance, do give this show a chance too.
There is a human element getting revealed early on, conveyed by McCollum in an easy going yet entertaining manner, that seems to transcend hoops.
Please Leave A Comment
Are you a fan of Pull Up? What about the show has captured your attention? What other sports podcasts do you listen to and how do they differ or align with Pull Up? Please leave a comment. We would love to hear from you.