The network announced Monday that they have signed the Pelicans star to a multiplatform deal. He will make his ESPN debut on Thursday during “NBA Finals: Celebrating 75,” which will be ESPN2’s alternate presentation of Game 1 of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics.
McCollum graduated from Lehigh University with a journalism degree and has made past appearances on ESPN as an analyst.
“I am excited to bring what I feel is my unique perspective, based on my vast knowledge of the game that I’ve gained during my nine years as a player in the NBA,” McCollum said in a statement. “To have an opportunity to put my journalism background to use on the largest stage with the many talented professionals at ESPN is a dream come true.”
McCollum will work with ESPN to develop a new podcast. He will also be an analyst for games during coverage of the NBA Summer League, as well as making some appearances on studio shows throughout the year.
“CJ is one of the most respected players in the NBA, which is evident by his role as President of the NBA PA. Furthermore, he’s an extremely talented member of — and leader on — one of the most interesting teams in the league: the New Orleans Pelicans,” said David Roberts, ESPN head of NBA and studio production. “CJ’s commitment to this opportunity, combined with his passion for journalism and sports broadcasting, will be a clear benefit for NBA fans.”
McCollum was traded from Portland to New Orleans near the February trade deadline. He averaged 24.3 points once he joined the Pelicans and helped them make the playoffs.
McCollum is part of an increasing number of players who are year-round analysts while still playing. Los Angeles Sparks forward Chiney Ogwumike has been working for ESPN since 2018, including a stint hosting an afternoon radio show. Golden State’s Draymond Green signed a multiplatform deal with Turner Sports in January.