NBA

Portland Trail Blazers Guard CJ McCollum Stops Signing Autographs Due to the Coronavirus

The recent global spread of the coronavirus is beginning to wreak havoc throughout the sports world as events such as the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo could be in jeopardy if the disease continues to grow. As of now, the event is still a go, but fears of widespread growth could result in drastic measures such as postponing or canceling the event. With the disease continuing to make its way to the United States, Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum has said he will be ‘taking a break’ from signing autographs through the foreseeable future.

Three reported coronavirus cases in Oregon

Here in the United States, the virus has already spread to different states, including Oregon, where McCollum and the Blazers play. McCollum is playing it very safe by issuing a Twitter statement that his autograph signings will be placed on hold until further notice.

So far, the state has three reported cases of the disease. In Oregon on Monday, March 2, state health officials said the state’s third presumptive coronavirus case is an adult who attended a basketball game at a Umatilla County middle school Saturday.

Since Feb. 29, McCollum has been playing it safe and has also been telling his Twitter followers to wash their hands and cover their mouths to help prevent the spread of the virus. McCollum has also been actively retweeting numerous tweets related to the coronavirus.

Chinese Basketball Association season postponed

While the NBA hasn’t yet planned to postpone or cancel any games because of the coronavirus, the Chinese Basketball Association has already done so. The NBA is, however, consulting with the Centers for Disease Control to monitor the situation. Last month, the CBA indefinitely postponed its season and a return date has not been set. Originally, the plan was for the CBA to get back into action within a couple of weeks, but according to a report on CBS Sports, the growing number of people in China with the coronavirus pushed back that date.

The report stated that as of Wednesday, 78,195 people in the country’s mainland contracted coronavirus, according to Statista; 2,718 died. In Tianjin alone, 135 contracted the disease with three dead as of Tuesday. The World Health Organization has since declared coronavirus a global health emergency.

McCollum having yet another big season

In his seventh full year with the Trail Blazers, McCollum is having another strong season, averaging 22.2 points per game. Since his breakout season in the NBA in 2015-16, McCollum has been the model of consistency when it comes to scoring.

In that 2015-16 season, McCollum averaged 20.8 points per game after averaging 6.0 points per game in his first two seasons in the NBA. Beginning with that 2015-16 season, McCollum has rattled off five straight seasons of averaging better than 20 points per game.

McCollum came into the NBA as a hot-shooting guard out of Lehigh. He was selected by the Trail Blazers with the 10th overall pick in the 2013 draft. He has paired with point guard Damien Lillard to form one of the best and most exciting guard combinations in the league.