Portland Trail Blazers guard and SiriusXM NBA Radio host C.J. McCollum was the first senior taken in the 2013 NBA Draft at No. 10 overall, and one of just three taken in the first round of the draft (Mason Plumlee and Solomon Hill the others). So his position on the NBA’s age limit – he explained reasons to raise it from 19 and one year removed from high school to 21 – isn’t all that surprising.

Thursday on his SiriusXM program, Year One, McCollum took Tom Byrne through the benefits of collegiate basketball players delaying entry into the pros.

“I would say that players aren’t necessarily good enough, strong enough, mentally ready to handle that much money and that much exposure at a time to come out of high school,” McCollum said. “Everybody’s not LeBron James and Kobe and all those type of guys. I think that an age limit should be required. I’m not sure what the exact age limit should be. Is one year enough? In some peoples’ cases, yes. In some peoples’ cases, no. I think they’re probably going to lead more toward 21 … because they want the college game to be a little bit better, and at the same time, they want the brand of basketball to be at a high level when guys are coming in. And I think that’ll save some guys’ careers when college players have to do a couple of extra years.”

That thought process is what led McCollum to stay at Lehigh for four years.

“I think if you were to ask me [which players I was excited to play with in the NBA] two years ago when I was in college my junior year and had declared for the draft, I would’ve probably said Kobe or CP3 or something like that,” McCollum said. “But that’s kind of why I stayed, to get out of that phase of looking up to players and idolizing them. You realize they’re just normal people. Obviously they’re great athletes and ambassadors to basketball, but at the same time, they put their shoes on the same way you do. I think i got out of that stage, and it’s good. I stayed in college a few extra years to mature a little bit.”

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