C.J. Watson

Website – http://cjpens.com/

Email – humblethyself32@gmail.com

Twitter – @quietstorm_32

Former NBA player C.J. Watson played for five different teams during his career including the Warriors, Bulls, Nets, Pacers, & Magic. Watson also has played overseas in Greece, Italy and Turkey. C.J. was originally signed to a 10 day contract by the Warriors where he impressed Coach Don Nelson as a backup to Baron Davis.  Watson also played with Derrick Rose during his 2011-2012 MVP season, battling Rose every day in practice while averaging just under 10 points per game that year with the Bulls.

Watson played his college basketball for the Tennessee Volunteers for four seasons. He finished his collegiate career as Tennessee’s second all-time leader in assists and steals while scoring 1,424 points.

While his basketball experience is impressive, his skills go far beyond the basketball court. Philanthropy has been at the center of Watson’s career since he developed a scholarship fund that honors his late grandmother and helps to support students studying education. Watson also started the Quiet Storm Foundation in his hometown of Las Vegas. The foundation was established in order to foster learning opportunities to help young kids grow and achieve their goals in his community. In addition to his non-profits, Watson has developed a children’s book series titled CJ’s Big Dream. With this series he hopes to inspire young kids to chase their dreams and work hard for what they want.

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Get ready to learn from the basketball experiences of former NBA player turned author, C.J. Watson.

What We Discuss with C.J. Watson

  • Competing with his brother growing up
  • Using “the jump shoes” to try improve his vertical
  • Why putting in the work was the key to his success
  • Getting his first recruiting letter from Bobby Knight at Indiana
  • How he ended up at Tennessee
  • Missing only one start in his career to honor a senior in the program
  • Adjusting from being a scorer in high school to a poiunt guard in college
  • Why he needed to become a more vocal leader as he headed to the pros
  • Playing overseas right out of college and having a new coach every month
  • Coming back and playing in the NBA D League
  • His first NBA experience with the Warriors and Coach Don Nelson
  • Playing for Tom Thibodeau
  • Backing up Derrick Rose during his MVP season with the Bulls
  • The adjustments he had to make playing for multiple teams in his career
  • Larry Bird talking trash to the players on the Pacers, CJ didn’t talk back…
  • What it’s like playing a seven game series from a player’s perspective
  • The transition into retirement from playing
  • His opinion and thoughts on the NBA’s potential return this summer
  • The inspiration behind C.J.’s Big Dream, the children’s book he wrote to share a positive message with kids
  • How the C.J.’s Big Dream is developing into a series of Books
  • His plans for the future

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 [00:00:00] Mike Klinzing: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the Hoop Heads Podcast. It’s Mike Klinzing here without my cohost, Jason Sunkle tonight, but I am pleased to welcome former NBA player, CJ Watson, CJ. Welcome to the podcast.

C.J. Watson: [00:00:10] Oh, thanks for having me. How are you doing?

Mike Klinzing: [00:00:11] I’m great.  doing, doing very well. Excited to have you on talk a little bit of basketball, learn more about your professional career.

Talk a little bit about your college career and get into some of the interesting things that you’ve been doing since you’ve been retired. So let’s start out. By going back in time to when you were a kid, just talk to us a little bit about how you got into the game of basketball when you were younger.

C.J. Watson: [00:00:31]  I just got in the game of basketball just by,  playing with my dad and my little brother, my dad and my mom played basketball. So they were both,  into sports and,  they, they want us to be in sports and,  just naturally we just had a love for the game playing in the, in the, in the front yard,  in the street and the, on the basketball goal and just being very competitive with my younger brother,  having those.

A sibling fights all the time.  sometimes leading into fights and,  getting in trouble, [00:01:00] but,  it was all in love and fun.

Mike Klinzing: [00:01:03] Did you play anything else besides basketball or was basketball, your main thing?

C.J. Watson: [00:01:06]  I play their everything.  actually football is my favorite sport. It’s something I wanted to play, but I just never did.

And,  cause it was too hot here in Vegas, so I just didn’t want to play with pads on. And so I would say an air condition where it was a little bit, a little bit cooler, but  I played everything, baseball, football, and ran track.  the pretty much everything.

Mike Klinzing: [00:01:25] Do you think that Multisport athlete background benefited you as you got up and started to focus on basketball as you got older?

C.J. Watson: [00:01:34] I think so. Yeah, maybe a different focus on one sport. Cause I knew I couldn’t play a whole bunch of sports. Like I really wanted to.  so I know how to pick on one and pick one that I was probably the best setting and can see myself having a future in basketball was that sport and.  my whole thing with basketball was just for me going to college.

 I knew my parents couldn’t pay for college, so I know I had to get to college some way and I wanted to really go to college. And I know the only way I can get there was to a [00:02:00] basketball scholarship and keep my grades good enough to get into college. And that was really my whole focus from playing basketball.

Mike Klinzing: [00:02:08] When did that start? Like when did you start to look around at the landscape and say to yourself, I’d really love the opportunity to go and play college basketball and earn a scholarship. So I can go to school. When did that start to enter your mind?

C.J. Watson: [00:02:19]  probably not to maybe like maybe freshman year or sophomore year, freshman year.

I played on JV, but I got hurt,  tore my hamstring, so I didn’t play the whole year. So I got to really just sit back and look and, and really,  kind of find myself as a, as a young kid and then find the game of basketball and see the, the ins and outs and see it from a different perspective instead of always just playing it.

And just from then on,  I just wanted to really, really rebound from our freshman year improved the people that I was good enough to play varsity. And then from there on is when,  when soaring really,

Mike Klinzing: [00:02:52] What was your, what was your process for improving and getting better when you were in high school?

What did you do to get yourself [00:03:00] prepared, prepared to be at

C.J. Watson: [00:03:00] your best?  just really just I’ll work in the competition. I’ll work in my opponents. I’ll work in.  teammates also,  and just really just staying in the gym. I was a skinny, young kid, so I had to kind of beef up. So I did a lot of pushups and calf raises.

 I don’t know if people remember, like those jumping shoes. Oh yeah, everyone did. I used to put the whole workout on my wall and do like the little. Every day, you do 10, 10 cow calf raises. And the next day you do 20, I did all that kind of stuff. And,  I just try to just be better. I mean, I wasn’t the greatest athlete, but I just,  I just feel like I worked harder than, than other people.

Cause there’s definitely people that in my city that were, I feel like better than me, but kind of just didn’t put the work in.  but definitely had more talent than I did.

Mike Klinzing: [00:03:47] Was the work mostly individual, you getting in the gym and just working on your game? Was it pickup games? Was it your AA, you experienced?

What was it like for you? In terms of maybe what your summer looked like, what your routine was like?

[00:04:00] C.J. Watson: [00:03:59] Ah, it was a little bit of both. A lot of it was,  individual, my mom or my dad and my brother running early in the mornings.  then after like maybe, maybe that first month after school ended, it was more team.

I’m going with teammates, getting my teammates, run with me or going to the gym, getting shots up.  and they really ain’t use one. I really kind of took off and, and get my first letter. And that’s when I really realized that this cause thing could be real and people had attention,  in my game and in me.

And one of wanted me to see me play in college.

Mike Klinzing: [00:04:32] Who was the first letter from?

C.J. Watson: [00:04:33]  it was crazy because it was from university of Indiana, my after my sophomore year, after he won state. And I never would’ve thought Bobby Knight would’ve sent me a letter of all the people, all the coaches.

Mike Klinzing: [00:04:44] You still have  it?

C.J. Watson: [00:04:45]  no, I don’t see how, I don’t know where that letter is.

Mike Klinzing: [00:04:50] That’s exciting though, man, it’s always cool to get that first one, because I think up until that point, you probably, you know, you never know, you think that it’s, it’s out there and you think you’re going to get an opportunity. And then all of a sudden that thing [00:05:00] shows up and.

You’re carrying around and going, Hey, this is a little bit of proof that maybe I can, maybe I can do something with my basketball career. What was your, what was your best memory from your time in high school? What do you remember most, maybe one or two things that stick out about your high school career?

C.J. Watson: [00:05:13]  I think just the time that we put in the, to. Prep for the season.  the, the behind the scenes, the people that people don’t see in those early mornings running,  late hours in the gym, late hours in the weight room. And then having, having that,  preparation and having that lead into a state championship,  two or three years is, is pretty cool.

And definitely a, one of the fondest memories.

Mike Klinzing: [00:05:40] Are you still in touch with him and your guys from high school, your teammates?

C.J. Watson: [00:05:42] Yeah, actually we were supposed to get together for like a 20 year reunion. Cause our first championship was 20 years this year and a, the Corona virus stuff happened in this kind of put a hold on everything, but we all on our group texts and definitely I was excited to see everyone and hopefully we can still do it in the future.

Mike Klinzing: [00:05:59] Yeah, that’s very [00:06:00] cool. I think when you get a chance to think about the time that you spend, whether it’s with the high school teammates, college teammates, and it’s probably a little bit different in the pro level where guys are switching teams and moving around a little bit more, but just the bond that you have with your high school guys, I’m sure your college teammates, it’s just something that people who haven’t experienced it at those levels.

I don’t think ever really understand what that bond is like for. For players at both the high school and the college level. So when did you start to really think that the opportunity to go and play college basketball is going to become a reality? And then just talk a little bit about your recruitment, how you ended up going from Vegas to Tennessee?

C.J. Watson: [00:06:34] yeah, my, like I said, my first letter was,   from Indiana. And after that I knew that I, I, I mean, we just want to stay and I knew that a lot of our seniors were leaving and it was time for me to step into hopefully a starting role and maybe a bigger role. And I just wanted to kind of build on that and keep building on that and get more letters and more letters.

And,  my dream school was to go to UCLA and the coach at the time, Steve Lavin,  he just got [00:07:00] fired after, before, right before I was going to commit to them. And,  and then Tennessee, I had a one big tournament in Tennessee, came knocking at the door. And,  just really offered me everything really from starting the first day, I got there to the, you know, having the reins of the ship and trying to build,   It builds something in Tennessee and gets the NCA tournament, all that kind of stuff.

And I just didn’t want to turn that down to my family was from there also. So it made a big adjustment on my college decision also

Mike Klinzing: [00:07:29] Was the opportunity to play right away a big factor?

C.J. Watson: [00:07:32] Yeah. That was definitely one of the biggest factors. I mean, I could have stayed at home, but I didn’t, I didn’t want to sit and wait. I wanted to really be thrown into the fire, see how good it was. See if I can really compete with the, with the best of the best, even as a freshman and then build from there.

Mike Klinzing: [00:07:49] Facilities at Tennessee are second to none.

C.J. Watson: [00:07:51] Yeah, it’s a, it’s crazy. I mean, I wouldn’t choose any of those schools cause,  they definitely do it.

Right. They,  put a lot of [00:08:00] effort into building their players, building their programs and getting the best out of each player.

Mike Klinzing: [00:08:05] How engaged are you with. Tennessee’s program now, do you still get back and maybe catch a game once in a while? Are you still in contact with the current staff?

C.J. Watson: [00:08:12] Oh yeah, definitely.  Sure. The current staff wasn’t my coach, but,  I still go back and talk with him or coach Barnes. He’s a great guy. I’ve met him a couple of times once a couple of games and definitely try to catch maybe one or two games a year.  if it’s not close to Vegas or go back to the Tennessee or Nashville or something like that.

So,  they’re definitely doing a great job and I think there’ll be back in the top 20 and back in the thick of things next year.

Mike Klinzing: [00:08:35] So your college career, I’m just looking at your college stats here in front of me. So you, you missed having a perfect record of starting every game by one game. It looks like.

So do you remember the game? You didn’t start.

C.J. Watson: [00:08:47] It was a game out of respect for our senior cause our senior. It was his last game. He never started. So a coach came to me and asked me if I wanted to start or not, because it was, I think it was still a big game for us [00:09:00] that we still needed to win or whatnot.

And I definitely wanted to pay respect to him. It’s just a. And he was a walk on. He never really got to play or anything like that. So it was definitely a,  old to him. And,  I definitely would still do it any time, even if it messed up my perfect record.

Mike Klinzing: [00:09:15] Well, let’s put it this way. There’s not many guys who.

Either have a perfect record or only miss out on starting one game for as noble of a reason as what you just shared, especially over the course of you. Think about I’s doing that for a four year career. That’s a pretty good achieve. That’s a pretty good achievement.

C.J. Watson: [00:09:31] Yeah, it was, it was definitely fun in a, I mean, I learned a lot that first year.

Mike Klinzing: [00:09:36] What was your biggest adjustment going from high school basketball to college basketball. Do you remember?

C.J. Watson: [00:09:40]  yeah, cause,  I played mostly point guard in college. In high school. I played,  mostly,  to guard a little bit of both, but,  I was mostly mainly in score in high school. And then when I went to college, I was a little bit of both a kind of a score, but I had a lot of seniors on my team who could score the ball.

So I had to be a lead and learn how to be a leader, learn how to. [00:10:00] The other guys of all who are, who were bigger than me, who could probably score in a more, more, better dynamic rate than I could. And,  and they were seniors also said that they wouldn’t let me take all the shots anyway.

Mike Klinzing: [00:10:11] if you had your choice, all things being equal, which position did you like better?

Did you have a preference as you look back over the course of your time?

C.J. Watson: [00:10:18]  Just as I was growing into a point guard and getting more in tune with the, with the. Well, the role, I think a point guard is, is more,  dynamic scoring is cool, but being a point guard, you said you’re a leader on the court.

You’re,  you can also score,  your passer. You got to know plays, you gotta know where everyone is supposed to be. So I think it’s a bigger role and I, I liked it.

Mike Klinzing: [00:10:44] So when you think back to your time at Tennessee, just like I asked you with high school, what are one or two things that stand out the most about your college career?

C.J. Watson: [00:10:53]  I would say just,  mean different people and getting able to travel to different cities,  see different campuses. [00:11:00]  a lot of those schools in the SEC or our big,  big time programs in football and basketball. And some of those schools are probably, if I didn’t go to Tennessee, I’m probably would’ve wished I went to maybe Kentucky or Florida or something like that.

And just to see those different places in cities and.  get to visit those cities is,  probably nothing you can,  exchange with that. And it was the one for free. So it was, it was a no cost.

Mike Klinzing: [00:11:24] That’s a good way to travel. That is a good way to travel. What was your favorite arena that you guys played in?

It could be one maybe in the sec that you played in regularly, or maybe you went somewhere. And just played a one off game somewhere. What was your favorite place you ever played?

C.J. Watson: [00:11:38]  I think Kentucky is probably up there. It’s always loud. It’s always a noisy,  the fans are, are great there.  I will say there are Florida, Florida has a great atmosphere, is small.

The fans are kind of right on top of you and they’re loud and they’re doing the little alligator chomps, so it’s pretty cool, especially when they’re on the road is it’s a big victory.

Mike Klinzing: [00:11:58] Yeah. There’s nothing better than winning in [00:12:00] front of a big crowd and getting them quiet. I always said that. I think I enjoyed the opportunity to play in front of a big crowd and win on the road as much as fun as it is to win at home and have the crowd going crazy.

And on your side, it’s also fun to make a big shot or win a big game and just. Hear silence from a crowd at five minutes earlier had been going nuts.

C.J. Watson: [00:12:19] Yeah. It’s the best.

Mike Klinzing: [00:12:23] Alright. So at what point, obviously I’m sure in the back of your head, as you’re making your college decision back in high school, you’re thinking in the back of your head and every kid does growing up, playing with your family on the driveway that Hey, someday, I’d like to play in the league.

And at what point do you start to think that, Hey, I’m going to have at least an opportunity. To be able to go and maybe make a living in the NBA.

C.J. Watson: [00:12:47] Mm.  I honestly never thought about it until maybe I got to college,  after my first or second year playing with the play for the USA team after my freshman year.

And a lot of guys in that scene or,  probably [00:13:00] one or two and done like Deron Williams, Dee Brown,  JJ Redick, and a lot of those guys were talking about it just in friendly, you know, teammate conversation, locker room conversation. And,  I never honestly really thought about it. And so after that, and then after that, I really started taking heat and trying to work on things that I might need to add to my game to make it to the next level.

 but if you ask my dad’s friends growing up, when I was younger, I always used to say, I want to play in the NBA one day. I never, I can’t remember back that far. So I don’t remember those conversations and those talks

Mike Klinzing: [00:13:33] Understood. It wasn’t necessarily a real. Conversation. It was just you talking and doing the things you did out on the driveway.

Totally understand. Like every kid did. So when you talk about things that you needed to add to your game, when you’re obviously having a lot of success as a college player, And you start thinking about projecting yourself to the next level. What were some things that let’s say as you’re heading into your senior year that you started thinking about, Hey, if I want to get to the NBA, I got to really start working to develop this.

Do you remember what [00:14:00] some of those specific things might’ve been?

C.J. Watson: [00:14:01]  yeah, definitely working on my three point shooting,  being,  being a more done that dynamic score from the point guard position,  and being more efficient. And then also just being a better leader.  Being more vocal. Cause that was a big thing with me because I’m really shy and quiet.

So,  just being more vocal in demanding things from myself and from my teammates, but just being more vocal about it.

Mike Klinzing: [00:14:25] How’d you force yourself to do that. I’m just curious because I know a lot of players sometimes are hesitant if that’s not your personality to kind of get out and be that type of leader.

So what did you do or how did you go about improving that? Cause that things, it seems like something that when it’s not your personality, sometimes that’s difficult to

C.J. Watson: [00:14:41] get to.  definitely was a cause I definitely wasn’t the one to scream and yell, but,  in certain times, in certain situations I would, but,  at this thing, it comes with time.

It comes from maturity. It comes with knowing your teammates, knowing your coaches, knowing those around you. And it’s a crazy story. Cause after my freshman year,  my coach Buzz [00:15:00] Peterson. He sent me to a leadership conference in,  And,  Florida, Orlando, Florida Disney world,  that they have every year for college athletes and in people who,  go to college.

And I went to this leadership conference and he wanted me to be more vocal, be more louder,  be more demanding. And,  I still came back the same way and he thought it would really change me. I mean, I learned a lot from the conference.  I learned,  different things, but I still, I was still the same person, but I still, as I got older, I started to, you know, be more vocal, more loud, more talking, but all that kind of stuff.

But it was just a funny story that he, that he made me, he really made me go to a leadership conference and thought it was going to be a miraculous transformation.  

Mike Klinzing: [00:15:45] Absolutely. That’s funny. And I think that’s totally true that you have to, I think as a leader, you have to come to that realization and you have to kind of get there on your own terms, on your own pace, especially when it’s something that you’re not naturally inclined to do.

I’ll see that with [00:16:00] players that I played with, I’ve seen it with players that I’ve coached where there’s just some players that naturally have that outgoing spirit, that ability to. Get out of teammate in a positive way and demand more from him. And then there are other guys who just are those quiet leaders who just kind of go about and say, I’m going to do it by leading by example.

And I think that it’s, I think it’s difficult for those lead by example, guys, to really become the opposite type of leader. I think you could do it, but I think it can. I think it definitely is a challenge to go against what your natural personality is.

C.J. Watson: [00:16:34] Yeah, definitely. For sure. Yeah.

Mike Klinzing: [00:16:36] So talk about the transition from Tennessee to the NBA.

Just talk a little bit about your pre-draft process and then just kind of going into the beginning of your prep professional career.

C.J. Watson: [00:16:49] Oh, the pre-draft process was fun.  I know I worked hard day and night after the season ended my senior year. And a went on some, a lot of personal workouts,  dif different [00:17:00] teams and thought I was going to get drafted.

 but didn’t happen. Then I went overseas.  the decision to go overseas was,  I just needed some money. Really. I was a broke college student. Never grew up with money or anything like that. So I wanted to go and make some money for myself and for my family. And then,  just basically see the world, cause I didn’t want to stay in America or the, I think it was called the D league at the time and,  play there.

And so I thought my best chances were to play overseas and. Make some money go to a different country and see the world and then come back and maybe hopefully play some league and, and,  try to get on a team from there.  but I definitely enjoyed my first year. It was definitely an up and down year.

 I don’t know if this has happened to anyone you’ve talked to you. Whatever is my whole career overseas. My first year I had a different coach every month. So every you want someone got fired.  so it was definitely different trying to adjust and being a quiet guy. Like I am trying to adjust to a new coach.

And a new offense and new situation, every one. So it was [00:18:00] definitely hard on the, on that part, but,  other part I definitely enjoyed it. All

Mike Klinzing: [00:18:04] right. So I don’t know if that qualifies for my question that I asked to everybody who’s played overseas, but my question is what’s the craziest overseas basketball story.

So having a new coach every month, that’s pretty crazy, but I bet you have another one that, something that happened while you were over there that’s even wackier,

C.J. Watson: [00:18:21]  I don’t know if it’s crazy. I mean, I guess if you play overseas you’re, you’re not used to it, but it happens.  fans were fighting. Fans were throwing, it was in a game.

 we were winning on a way on a road trip and,  the fans were throwing pennies and lighters at us. And,  it was just something that was very dangerous. And that’s like, that’s not a normal in America and by, by our standards I guess, but they had police at the game policing us. They had little,  Firesticks in the crowd.

So it was, it was definitely crazy just to be in that kind of atmosphere.

Mike Klinzing: [00:18:54] All right. So beyond the basketball piece of it, what did it do for you [00:19:00] as a human being, in terms of being in a different culture? What did you take away from it as a person? Not necessarily as a basketball player.

C.J. Watson: [00:19:08]  I just had to grow up fast.

I was overseas by myself,  for the most majority of the time,  being 21 nine to learn how to cook for myself, to learn how to. Do a whole bunch of other things. I mean, I just really kind of just found myself or a lot of books.  what on walking trips daily, just to kind of kill time? Cause I was pretty bored,   just there being by myself.

Cause a lot of my teammates, my American teammates were older than me and they have like their wives and girlfriends there and kids. So it was like, I was just really kinda just by myself,  besides being on the road with my teammates.

Mike Klinzing: [00:19:41] What country were you in?

C.J. Watson: [00:19:42] Italy.

Mike Klinzing: [00:19:43] Italy. Okay. So how does the opportunity to come back and get, get an opportunity with the NBA?

How does that take place?

C.J. Watson: [00:19:51]  I came back from overseas and,  play with this burden for two years, two summers in a row, and didn’t make the team. I was close to [00:20:00] getting,  getting signing a contract with didn’t happen. And then I decided to stay in the D league this year because as I’d said my overseas experience wasn’t the greatest.

So I didn’t want to. Go back over there. And said, I’m just trying to D-League out and try to work on things that they said I couldn’t do, which is,  be a score,  be a better leader, all that kind of stuff. And then eventually,  had a great month in the D league and,  got the call up to go to the Golden State Warriors.

Mike Klinzing: [00:20:26] What was that like when that call came in?

C.J. Watson: [00:20:28] I was fine because my agent was telling me I was playing good the first couple of weeks and you’re definitely gonna get a call up. You’re definitely going to do this. And I just told them, I don’t want to hear all that. I don’t want to hear you keep telling me this and it’s not happening.

So just don’t call me until. You know, for sure I’m getting a call up and he didn’t, I didn’t talk to him really for like two and a half weeks. And the next time I talked to him, he was like,  you’re going to get a, get a call up. And it is crazy because it was between two different teams, the Charlotte Bobcat’s at the time and the Golden State Warriors.

So who knows how it would have turned up if I went to the Bobcat’s, I don’t know if [00:21:00] my career would have been as long as it is, or as long as

Mike Klinzing: [00:21:03] it’s interesting. I think that you, you think about guys who have made it to the league and then they stick. And so much of it is I think, and it’s what you’re describing right.

There is situational, whether that’s the situation of the front office, who somebody believes in you, whether it’s the coach, somebody who believes in you, whether it’s just, you’re in the right situation with the players that are on your team and you get an opportunity. So what do you think it was for you with the warriors, Don Nelson?

What was it about the warriors that you think helped you to get your career started and then enabled you to play and, you know, have a 10 year career.

C.J. Watson: [00:21:36] I think it was like you said, it was a situation it’s about timing, Coach Nelson’s or offense was perfect for me. That’s the kind of style that I like to play up and down and kind of run and gun and style.

And that’s what they were doing. They were one of the best teams who actually probably started at not invented that style,  and played small.  and that’s really. How my game Connor grew. He let, he just threw me into the fire. He told me he was one of, he wanted to see [00:22:00] what I, what I had and if I could,  if I could stick and,  just threw me out there.

And I played pretty well and kept getting,  the first 10 days and the second 10 day. And then the last one for the rest of the season, then he just kept believing in me and pouring confidence in three.

Mike Klinzing: [00:22:15] It’s amazing. You go from out of the league and playing overseas to a fringe guy signing a 10 day contract, and then another 10 day contract, then you sign out for the rest of the year.

And then, like I said, you’re able to parlay that into a long 10 year career in the NBA. It’s a pretty incredible story.

C.J. Watson: [00:22:35] Yeah, that was my whole goal. Like when I first went to the dealer, like I said, I wanted to just see if I can make it. And if not, you know, if I don’t make it playing basketball, do something else or whatever.

But once I got that call, I said, I’m never going back to the, to the D league or overseas or whatever. So. And my teammates were like, yeah, don’t come back. Don’t come back. So I was like, I won’t come back.

Mike Klinzing: [00:22:54] That’s funny. Yeah. I could see once you get a taste of the NBA life that you probably going back overseas or going to the [00:23:00] D league, probably wouldn’t be your first choice if you could avoid it.

I’m sure.

C.J. Watson: [00:23:02] Definitely not.

Mike Klinzing: [00:23:04] All right. So when you were at Golden State, who was your favorite teammate with the Warriors?

C.J. Watson: [00:23:08]  Probably Baron Davis. He was a guy that I obviously looked up to and play with on the video games, all that kind of stuff. And just to be on the same court with them, it was just like, kind of like a surreal, but all my teammates were great.

I learned a lot from all those guys.  Steven Jackson, Al Harrington, Matt Barnes,  Monta Ellis,  even like I said, Coach Nelson was a, it was a big contributor to that. So they all played a big role in my development.

Mike Klinzing: [00:23:33] Have you been on Jackson and Barnes podcast yet?

C.J. Watson: [00:23:37] No, not yet. I don’t think they want me on there.

Mike Klinzing: [00:23:46] You can slum down with us first. And then you can get with them. I’ll see you leave Golden State. And then you go to Chicago. Talk about your experience with the Bulls.

C.J. Watson: [00:23:57]  it was fun.  I didn’t [00:24:00] think I would ever get a chance to play for a franchise like that.

And when the call came, I was like, yeah, let’s do it. And,  I know the first year when we played there,  we were winning,  projected to be in the playoffs and we just kept playing well. And coach teams had us all dialed in and locked in and providing us with so much information from top to bottom on every player.

And he just had his prepared. I think that’s why we were so.  so focused cause of the practices were definitely harder than the games I feel like. And that’s why we were so, so successful. All right.

Mike Klinzing: [00:24:35] So I got to ask you from a, from a bowl standpoint, first question about tips, what Thibbs professional reputation from a public standpoint, compared to the guy behind the scenes, how do those two compare?

C.J. Watson: [00:24:51] they’re kind of the same, but not the same. I mean, he’s not as hard as people,  I think he is,  he’s definitely a fun, loose,  loving guy. [00:25:00]  obviously he doesn’t have like a wife or kids or anything. That’s why he’s so dedicated to basketball. But,  all that just comes from like, you know, wanting to be successful.

 he took the harder, not the harder route, but just the longer routes they get to be in a head coach.  went through every step. Being a assistant to what are the player development, all that kind of stuff. And to finally get to his head coaching job, that’s, that’s what he wanted. And that’s what he lived for.

So, I mean, you can’t knock a guy who, who,  dreamed and worked hard to, to be where he’s at. Absolutely.

Mike Klinzing: [00:25:29] All right. So during the years, you’re with the bulls there, you’re seeing pretty close to peak Derrick Rose. Describe what that was like going up against him everyday in practice.

C.J. Watson: [00:25:39]  I was fine,  cause I w went up against them a couple of times before.

 just playing against them, you know, but practice was like,  it was, it was, it was tough. It was, that’s how I knew I could play against any guard, especially playing his Haman practice all the time. Cause we used to go one-on-one and cause each other to want to. And those matches, I think brought the best out of [00:26:00] me and him.

Cause any anyone I went up against, I didn’t think there are anywhere near Derrick Rose and  I’ve seen him do some damage to a lot of people. A lot of people just call for switches and call for like, Oh, I don’t want to guard him tonight. So,  he was definitely a sight to see and great to play with.

Mike Klinzing: [00:26:17] From an athleticism standpoint, they’re at his peak before the injuries. I don’t know if there’s been anybody at the point guard position that was as athletically gifted as he was. And then just, you know, you think about winning the MVP at whatever he was 22, 23 years old. I mean, it’s incredible and such a shame that.

His career was cut short, probably one of the bigger. What ifs? Probably the last 20 years for sure. In the league.

C.J. Watson: [00:26:41] Definitely. For sure. I think he’s even, even still then bounce back, Greg, and he’s still, that’s amazing productive point guard. I mean, you still can’t can’t sleep on them.

Mike Klinzing: [00:26:49] Yeah. It’s kind of amazing when he was here.

Uh we’re from Cleveland. And so we had him when he was here and looked like at that point, when he was with the, with the calves, that his career was. Pretty much over it [00:27:00] looked like. I mean, he didn’t look like he had a whole lot left and now he’s really bounced back and had a couple of really good years since he left the calves.

And that’s, it’s really great to see. Cause again, you hate to see a guy that had that much talent, that much athleticism be short changed because of injury. It’s just, you know, obviously we can go through the history of the league and see that that’s happened to many guys over the course of over the course of time, but it’s just something that you hate to see a guy who has.

That much potential is so good. So young. And the fact that you kind of got robbed of seeing what he could have been like if you would’ve stayed healthy his entire career.

C.J. Watson: [00:27:32] For sure. Yeah. Definitely part of hopefully would have brung a championship to Chicago by now.

Mike Klinzing: [00:27:38] Absolutely. All right. So talk to us a little bit about just from a pro basketball standpoint, just when you change, when you’re changing teams.

So for you and your career, you played for what? Five, six different teams,

C.J. Watson: [00:27:51] Five different teams. Yep.

Mike Klinzing: [00:27:53] What’s it like when you go from one locker room to the other, just talk about the adjustment as you change teams [00:28:00] going from a different system. How, how similar are the systems? How big of an adjustment is there from place to place?

Just talk a little bit about the transition from one team

C.J. Watson: [00:28:08] It’s definitely different.  you gotta adjust cause you know, you have different, different egos, different personalities and every different locker room.  and you don’t ever know how you can mesh with those personalities. But for me, I think I was fortunate enough to say that I got to kind of pick my teams,  being a free agent,  play for every team, probably two years.

I get to pick where I wanted to go, where I wanted to play. And,  when I was choosing those teams, I wanted to see what players were on those teams. What kind of system they ran. And see if I would fit in those systems. So like I said, I got fortunate enough to be able to choose those teams where I thought I would fit a pretty good in every situation, regardless who was on the team or who wasn’t.

And,  just really kind of just went from there.

Mike Klinzing: [00:28:52] So you, obviously, in the course of that time, not only did you play for five different teams, but you played for several different coaches, did you have [00:29:00] one coach that stood out to you as being your favorite coach to play for.  

C.J. Watson: [00:29:05] I would say Don Nelson or Coach Thibbs.

I would say Don Nelson, because he was my first coach. She took the chance on me, you know, and threw me out there. And,  and his system was like his, none other, all his plays. I can, I used to run his plans from our daughter’s team and they work all his also work in the running gun system is something that I love.

And,  it’s definitely,  one of the best I think. And then coach tips, cause he just prepared us.  he had us prepared. And,  he made us work hard in the matter and he’ll edit everyone accountable. And no matter if you were Derek Rose or you the last 15 plan on the band, she wanted everyone to be the same to come with the same focus, the same tenacity.

And,  that’s why we were so successful.

Mike Klinzing: [00:29:46] When you were in Indiana. Did you ever get a chance to have any interaction with Larry Bird?

C.J. Watson: [00:29:50] Oh, yeah, for sure. Larry would come out to practice. You’d always watch practice and he, you know, always talk trash. He was a, he was a big trash talker,  at practices telling people [00:30:00] he could out shoot you and all that kind of stuff.

But he was definitely fun to, to be there very nervous when he wasn’t watching practices.

Mike Klinzing: [00:30:06] You didn’t have any interactions like Jordan, hadn’t the last dance with them there in the,  in the, after the, after game seven 98.

C.J. Watson: [00:30:12] Yeah. I didn’t talk to my boss. I was like, I was walking on eggshells.

Mike Klinzing: [00:30:19] Absolutely. I can under, I can, I can totally understand that.

Larry legend. You probably don’t want to talk trash to him for sure. Alright. So give me if you had to boil it down, just like I asked you with high school and college. One or two things that stick out about your pro career one or two things that you’re like, man, that was really one of the best moments of my life as an NBA player.

C.J. Watson: [00:30:42]  I would just say maybe getting to the Eastern conference finals,  with the bulls and the Pacers,  it was definitely a big opportunity to get there and to, to go against,  A guy named LeBron James who stopped us from getting to the finals. But I was [00:31:00] definitely fun to do that. And I would just say over the course of the 10 years is just being resilient, having the longevity that I had in being able to,  to bounce back from injuries and things like that nature.

And just,  and just do something that I love to do .

Mike Klinzing: [00:31:15] . All right. When we’re thinking about your, your team’s going to the Eastern conference finals, what does the. What does the media throng look like compared to a regular season game? So by the time you get to the conference finals, what does it look like in terms of how much media is they around the team compared to a regular season game of January,

C.J. Watson: [00:31:32]  as crazy as doubled tripled the size as they want every, any kind of information they can give.

They’re asking any kind of questions.  sometimes they’re starting drama, you know, and just trying to. Pin people against each other,  just for no reason, but,  you gotta kind of stay focused and not,  pay attention what the media is saying or what your family members or friends are insane and stuff like that.

But just kind of be focusing like,   tips would always say, just keep,  keep everything in the locker room and [00:32:00] only people that are gonna gonna be there for you’re the one sitting right next to you and the coaches. So I felt like that’s,  just a great,   title to have and to stay focused on during those type of runs.

Mike Klinzing: [00:32:13] What’s it like playing in a seven game series back and forth against the same team that many times in such a short time span, even people who are out there listening who have played high school basketball, or maybe you’ve played college basketball. Unless you played in the PLS, you played in the pros, you haven’t played in a seven game series where you see this team over and over again, you get to make adjustments, you start to, I’m sure they start to wear on your nerves and you start to see them.

And just like that, man, I can’t stand these guys anymore. Just talk a little bit about what that’s like.

C.J. Watson: [00:32:42] That’s really funny. Cause we played LeBron a couple of times in the, in the,  In the playoffs and,  our coach Tibbs,  he, we knew everything about LeBron and all his, everything. He wanted us to do, like going right, going left.

And,  he would, he would quiz us before games, days before [00:33:00] games on the player, you’re guarding, we’d have to mimic them and tell them what our tendencies, their tendencies were. So we knew everything about him in like over seven game series, you tend to. To see the pros and cons of players. And then you also develop like a, not a, not a hate, hate relationship for him, but you just don’t like him.

Cause you’re going up against him so many times and you have to play against him and you guys are all going for that one specific thing was just a way to try to get to the finals. But it’s definitely cool. But in the, in the midst of, it’s definitely kind of draining, but it’s fun at the same time.

Mike Klinzing: [00:33:31] What does an off day look like in between games and a series?

Are you guys walking through stuff? Are you watching film? Just talk about what goes on on the off days and a series.

C.J. Watson: [00:33:41]  we’re we’ll say watching film,  mostly going through things on the court, but not at full speed. I’m putting in different plays. Cause by the time the playoffs come, everyone knows your playbook.

So you gotta throw different things in there to catch them off guard.  and kinda get those easy points or those easy files. Those positions kind of [00:34:00] kind of mean a lot, especially in a, in a playoff series when the games can be decided by one or two possessions. So those days are kind of, kind of low key where you can get shots of them.

If you want, you can lift weights,  to say rehab Peabody. Cause you definitely, by that time, the season you played 82 games and you’re in the conference finals, this another, maybe 10 or 15 games, your body’s probably beat up. So you want to get that rest as much as possible.

Mike Klinzing: [00:34:23] I would think that by that point of the season, that is just to the point where I know you always hear about and people, when you’re thinking about NBA teams and how little they practice during the season.

I know one of the things that always amazes me is guys who get traded mid season and they come in and the teams aren’t teams aren’t practicing at all. And then all of a sudden here they are on the full floor trying to figure it out. So maybe talk about what what’s that like when a guy gets traded in the middle of the season and comes into a new team, How do you get them caught up cat caught up to speed.

C.J. Watson: [00:34:53] yeah, we do a lot of kind of seminar practices,  going over a lot of plays,  either with the second team or [00:35:00] third team.  guys are staying, staying around. It’s a lot of film being watched.  While the player, just trying to throw them into the, into the mold and the fire and,  kind of like learning their tendencies.

Also, you got to learn where they want the ball,  where their best spots are at. And,  that’s pretty much pretty, pretty, pretty basic really. Cause like I said, there’s not a lot of practice time to do that. Basically you have to just have to go on the games and kind of figure it out as a, as a season goes along.

Mike Klinzing: [00:35:25] Let’s bring it to the modern NBA and kind of the situation that we’re all in now with trying to figure out whether or not the league is going to come back and play and kind of put on your player hat and imagine that you were still in the lead right now. What would you be hoping for advocating for in terms of what you think it’s going to look like when the lead comes back?

C.J. Watson: [00:35:48] I would say just if I was one of those 16 teams, I don’t think if they’re not one of the 16 playoff teams they should be playing. I don’t know. That’s just my opinion. I think it’s a waste of time if the other teams are playing, but if I’m one [00:36:00] of those 16 playoffs teams, I would try to be in the best game shape.

I can be. I’m trying to say, stay healthy and keep my mind fresh. And,  really just. Worried about my safety, I guess, of the teammates

Mike Klinzing: [00:36:14] In your mind, how long would it take? So now we’ve been off since March. How long will it take when let’s say that things open up and they say, okay, we’re going to start whatever this reduced training camp or whatever it’s going to be.

How long do you think it takes a player to get back to where you’re in complete shape? And then I’ve got to believe that especially if they don’t go back to any regular season games or if they jump right to the playoffs where clearly the intensity level. Is going to be super high compared to even what it would be if they opened up with some regular season games, what do you think that’s going to look like from a quality of play and how long do you think it’s going to take guys to really get their game legs back?

C.J. Watson: [00:36:52]  I would say a couple of weeks to a two a month just to get back in game shape.  and then, like I said,  I mean, guys are [00:37:00] pride and staying in shape, running, doing lifting weights, all that kind of stuff, but it’s really nothing like a, like a real game to get you back in shape. So I would say. At least a couple of weeks disrupt practice time just to get guys back adjusted to get the chemistry back together.

Because at the one point in the time, a lot of teams were cooking in the chemistry was so high, but now that they’re off, I mean, it’s going to take a cohesive to get that chemistry back. So it’s going to definitely take some time. Yeah.

Mike Klinzing: [00:37:24] I would think it would be a huge challenge. It’s almost like a completely new season.

I’ve kind of equated it to. Sort of the old bowl system with college football, where these teams finished playing in November and then they don’t play again until January one. It’s like, okay, you take five or six weeks off in the middle of the season and you try to come back. It’s almost like it’s a whole new season.

It’s going to be very, very interesting to see what all these teams and then what the individual players look like. And there’s been so many interesting proposals thrown out there about what they’re going to do and how they’re going to do it. Is your gut telling you that they’re going to be. [00:38:00] Just the straight 16 teams, Eastern Western conference, top eight seeds.

And they play it that way with four seven game series. Or do you think they’re going to try to do something innovative, at least maybe with the first round? What’s your gut telling you?

C.J. Watson: [00:38:12] Oh my God. Tell him, they’ll just do the playoff teams and somehow I don’t, I don’t know if they’ll do just East and West man where they’ll just all mix it all up and.

You know, just eventually you might have the championship. We might be a Western conference team versus a Western conference team. So,  that’s how I, I think it might play out.

Mike Klinzing: [00:38:27] It’s going to be very interesting to see. I’m really curious to see how they’re going to come back, what it’s going to look like and whether or not.

They decided to try to do something different, maybe to capture people attention as if people’s attention, isn’t going to be out at any way, because of just all of us sitting around and a lot of sports and  everybody’s life, life has been completely disrupted. So let’s talk a little bit about your life after basketball.

Talk about what the transition for you has been like retiring as professional athletes. What you’ve been up to what it was like to set the ball down and not play [00:39:00] anymore. And then we can get into some of the interesting things that you’ve been doing.

C.J. Watson: [00:39:03] Okay, cool. Yeah. So it was definitely an adjustment.

 I thought even when I was done playing in 2018,  But I still could play still can maybe go out there and play maybe one or two years, but I just felt like the way my body was feeling, I wanted to be able to, to walk on my own. They’re like, you know, 50 years, 60 years, stuff like that. So understood.

Does definitely just try to.  make a wise decision for myself and also for my kids end then the day. But I thought I gave it a good run. I left everything out there.  got to play the game that I love for a number of years. And,  definitely,  when training for anything else in the world.

Mike Klinzing: [00:39:42] What was your plan when you decided to retire?

What were you thinking you were going to do at that point?

C.J. Watson: [00:39:49] Honestly, I really wasn’t gonna do anything. I was just gonna sit back and take my kids to school and.  go to their concerts and games and stuff like that since I never could,  during the hectic [00:40:00] basketball season. So I was just going to be the, you know, the dad taking the taking and dropping kids off and just,  playing the mom role for a minute.

Mike Klinzing: [00:40:08] That’s cool. How many kids you have?

C.J. Watson: [00:40:09]  two and one of the way.

Mike Klinzing: [00:40:11] Nice, awesome. Congratulations. So at what point did that not change? Cause obviously I’m sure you’re still doing those things and still love you those things. But when do you start to get a little itch to try and maybe do something different, something new that you hadn’t done before?

C.J. Watson: [00:40:28] Yeah. I just wanted to keep being an inspiration. I felt like I’m being an introvert is the inspiration and playing in the NBA and a lot of kids,  think that’s very cool and,  that’s their dream goal. And I just thought I’m sitting on the couch one day and I wanted to continue to be an inspiration and continue to inspire kids.

And. That’s when I came up with the idea to write a book and to inspire kids. And I thought, why not put my stories in a and put some inspiring messages in a book? And,  kids will be able to read it and kids need to read and kids, kids need to keep developing all that kind of stuff. [00:41:00] So,  say why not just kill two birds with one stone and,  and write a book and put some little hidden messages in there that can inspire kids.

Mike Klinzing: [00:41:08] All right. Give us the one minute pitch on the book. And then I want to dive into. Your process from what it looked like when you first had that idea to what it looked like, trying to get that book actually published. So give us the one minute spiel about what the book’s all about and why people should go out and get it.

C.J. Watson: [00:41:23] Okay. So the first book is called CJ’s Big Dream. It’s about CJ being,  being a young kid dreaming to play in the NBA.  and. Wanting to wanting to get there, but doesn’t know how to get there. And his goal is to continue working hard and to work hard, to get to that,  to get to that platform. And he continues game by game and gets there.

And the second book is about CJ, his big project, and the teacher teaches the kids about,  education and how education is important. And you can’t play,  you can’t play sports unless you have your grade straight.

Mike Klinzing: [00:41:56] That’s awesome. I love the message. I think it’s great that you had in your mind [00:42:00] to. Give back to the community, to kids.

And to remember that at one point you were a kid and I think to write it from that kid perspective is fantastic. So talk a little bit about your process of going from you’re sitting on the couch one day, you have this idea. What does it look like going from that idea to actually having a published book?

What’s that process look like?

C.J. Watson: [00:42:24] Yeah. So I,  one of my older coaches are, who are played for when I went to Italy.  he actually wrote a book, so I contacted him and told him my idea. I told him I wanted to write a book. We just don’t know how to go about it. And, or don’t know anything about the book, world or book life.

So. He introduced me to a, this lady named to make a new house and she’s written books before, and she had her own company and I talked with her and kind of just gave her all my ideas and stuff like that, and eventually got my ideas onto paper. And that’s how the, the book and the story came about. And I think that was a long six or seven month process has gone.

And [00:43:00] talking and having conversations with her about what I was doing as a kid and what I, what I liked, what I didn’t like in a, and making sure that the story still had an inspirational field. So when kids can still relate to it.

Mike Klinzing: [00:43:10] Did the story and the details of it come to you pretty easily, or was the writing process more daunting than that?

How would you describe the process that you went through to actually sit down and write it?

C.J. Watson: [00:43:23] Well actually we, me and the lady we both were,  she wrote it, but I just gave her the ideas and the story and stuff like that. But the story and the ideas were basically all my,  all my views of growing up.

 the first book talks about,  living in,  living in the inner city and seeing different.  things like graffiti on the wall, on cut grass,  things of that nature and that kind of,  doesn’t,  make CJ,  less focused, but it just makes him seem like those dreams of accomplishing the NBA. Isn’t isn’t real.

[00:44:00]  so this kinda kinda tells kids that no matter wherever you grow up,  those, those things can still happen. You still can achieve your goals no matter where you grow up. So it’s definitely those messages in there that I, that I went through in my life that maybe other kids can relate to.

Mike Klinzing: [00:44:14] I think it’s really cool that you were able to take your own story, your own details, your own journey, and put that into a book that kids can relate to.

And kids can follow that story. And just like we talked about right off the top of the podcast, when you were a kid, and that was my first question. And you talked about how you’re playing on the driveway with your family and your brother, and you’re getting in fights. And at some point, your family remembers you saying, Hey, I want to play in the NBA.

And you think about the number of kids that have that same dream. And when you’re able to share your story and be able to show them that, you know, it wasn’t super easy for you. You had obstacles you had to overcome. There were things in your environment that made it difficult for you to get where you wanted to go.

I think that that’s gotta be inspiring a for you to [00:45:00] write it. And then B for you to know that there are kids out there reading that, that maybe can take what you’ve written, what you’ve learned. And turn it into their own dream. And maybe that doesn’t end up in the NBA, but maybe that ends up with them being a doctor or a lawyer or a fireman or whatever it might be.

That’s to me. That’s really cool.

C.J. Watson: [00:45:16] Yeah, that was definitely the whole, the whole process.  like I said, growing up, I didn’t really have any thing, sports figures in my city.  only person that I knew that made it to the NBA was one of my high school coaches. And he was definitely,  a great,  figure in my life.

So as I said, why not? What can I be that. Same figure that some kids might or might not have and just give them the inspiration. Like I said, like you just said, it doesn’t have to be a play in the NBA. You can be an entrepreneur, you can be a doctor, a lawyer, whatever it is that those kids want to be that, but there’s no, there’s no limitations to your, to your dreams.


Mike Klinzing: [00:45:47] Tell people how they can find out more about the book. Where can they get the book? Just let us know a little bit about where we can find this


C.J. Watson: [00:45:55]  you can find it on Amazon or under the title of CJ’s Big Dream or [00:46:00] CJ’s Big Project. Or you can go to my personal website, CJ pens, CJPENs.com and purchase it there.

Mike Klinzing: [00:46:08] have the idea for the third book already?

C.J. Watson: [00:46:10] Yeah. I do have an idea for the third book. It’s called CJ’s Big moment. It’s about bullying. So I know a lot of kids might or might not get bullied in just how to handle those types of situations. Like I said, these are real stories that happened to me when I was younger.

So they’re definitely. Can relate to these stories. And I think bullying is a big subject for you in kids.

Mike Klinzing: [00:46:30] How far out do you have titles? What number are you up to or are you stuck at three or do you have a few more titles in mind?

C.J. Watson: [00:46:35] We’re stuck at three right now working on the fourth one.  so that’s, that was,  the, the contract was four books.

So,  after that fourth book, I’m not sure what I’m going to do. If we’re going to continue writing or telling stories or, or do something else, I’m not a hundred percent sure yet

Mike Klinzing: [00:46:52] Got any ideas of things, if you end up leaving the book behind. Is there anything in your mind out there that kind of intrigues you that you might want to get [00:47:00] involved in with?

If an opportunity comes your way?

C.J. Watson: [00:47:02]  everyone says I should be a coach, but I’m not sure. I don’t know yet. I’m just still taking it day by day for now.

Mike Klinzing: [00:47:09] Do you miss, how much do you miss the game? I mean, from a planning standpoint, from being around it day to day,

C.J. Watson: [00:47:14]  definitely missing a lot of you missed the, you know, the guys locker room,  playing, traveling,  things of that nature,  large crowds, the fan screaming,  all that kind of stuff, but definitely don’t, don’t miss the nice farm laying in bed and bones are aching and muscles are aching, but it’s definitely nothing I would trade for in the world.

Mike Klinzing: [00:47:34] Absolutely. Very cool. CJ. I want to thank you for jumping on with us tonight. I want to give you one more opportunity. Just let people know where they can find you on social media, how they can reach out to you. Give them that information about the book. Again, we’ll put it all in the show notes too, so they can reference it after you talk about it now, and then after you do that, I’ll jump back in and wrap up the episode.

C.J. Watson: [00:47:53] You can find me on Instagram and Twitter.  quiet storm, underscore 32, the number three, [00:48:00] two. And,  you can go pick my books up with Amazon or a CJpens.com.  CJ’s Big Dream and CJ’s Big Project.

Mike Klinzing: [00:48:08] CJ. I can’t thank you enough for spending almost an hour with us tonight. It’s been a pleasure to be able to go through and talk to you about your career, both at the high school, college and pro level, and then learn about the books that you’re writing, the things that you’re trying to do for kids to give back to your community.

Really appreciate it. And to everyone out there. Thanks for listening. And we will catch you on our next episode. Thanks.

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