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CJ McCollum joining ESPN as 'year-long' NBA analyst

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CJ McCollum has a side hustle.

The New Orleans Pelicans guard is joining ESPN as an NBA analyst. The network announced the news on Monday. He'll start working this week during the network's NBA Finals coverage. But it won't stop there.

Per ESPN, McCollum will continue to work as an analyst "on a year-long basis." It's not quite clear what "year-long basis" entails, but it sounds like he'll be doing work for ESPN alongside his Pelicans duties.

Per the network, McCollum's role will include appearances on ESPN staples, including "SportsCenter," "First Take" and "NBA Countdown." He'll also develop and work on a podcast that will run "throughout the year."

McCollum, 30, studied journalism at Lehigh and has his sights set on a post-playing media career.

“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 said per the ESPN release announcing the news.

CJ McCollum #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts against the Phoenix Suns during Game Four of the Western Conference First Round NBA Playoffs at the Smoothie King Center on April 24, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
CJ McCollum has a side hustle. (Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

NBA player and analyst at the same time

McCollum's foray into media continues a trend of NBA players getting a jumpstart on their second careers while still active in the NBA. Think Draymond Green joining the TNT crew for studio work and hosting a podcast. Like Green, JJ Redick hosted a podcast while still playing in the NBA before joining ESPN last fall. He's quickly become one of the network's most outspoken contributors.

But it sounds like McCollum is taking things a step further. Green generally saves his formal TNT work for when the Golden State Warriors season is done or on a break. Hence why his only appearances on "Inside the NBA" this postseason have been guest spots. Redick, meanwhile, didn't formally join ESPN until he was retired from the NBA.

McCollum, meanwhile, is in his prime and a key part of what the Pelicans are building in New Orleans. It will be interesting to see how his concurrent roles as NBA player and NBA analyst play out.