Given his well-documented feud with Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant and his recently unearthed comments about not wanting to join “disgusting” superteams, it hasn’t been an easy past few weeks for Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum. Now, it seems that his tweeting “I’m trying, Jennifer” in response to a fan who referenced the team’s early playoff exits in 2017 and 2018 has turned him into one of the most talked-about NBA players at the moment, and the subject of many a meme.
As recalled by CBS Sports, McCollum sparked some controversy on Wednesday after several news outlets brought up a previous interview he had with a Chinese television station, where he said that NBA superteams, or those that have several All-Star-caliber players on the lineup, are “disgusting” and that he and most other NBA players don’t want to join them. This drew a reaction from a Twitter user named Jennifer Williams, who told McCollum to “win a playoff game” before talking. This was also in reference to how the Trail Blazers were swept in the first round of the last two NBA playoffs.
When C.J. McCollum replied with the words “I’m trying, Jennifer,” social media users quickly went to work, retweeting the Blazers shooting guard’s reply and posting a plethora of memes, Photoshop edits, and animated GIFs that poked fun at his words. CBS Sports posted several of these reactions, which included photos of everything from then-San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard dunking over McCollum to Tommy Wiseau’s memorable “you are tearing me apart, Lisa!” scene from the cult film The Room, all captioned with the viral reply.
I'M TRYING JENNIFER pic.twitter.com/xGbWVR2riC
— karmunism (@IanKarmel) August 15, 2018
“I’m trying, Jennifer.” pic.twitter.com/R9ubi7Us9w
— Chris Walder (@WalderSports) August 15, 2018
Somebody send me a “ I’m trying Jennifer “ t-shirt ????????????
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) August 15, 2018
Also featured in CBS Sports’ compilation of reactions to McCollum’s tweet were photos of two well-known celebrities with the same first name as the woman he was replying to — Jennifer Lopez and Jennifer Aniston. The actresses were respectively pictured with Alex Rodriguez and Brad Pitt, both of whom looked to be in a position to tell their current or then-significant other that they’re “trying.”
Fortunately for C.J. McCollum, it appears that he’s taking his viral status in stride, as he asked for a t-shirt with the words “I’m trying, Jennifer” in a tweet posted on Wednesday afternoon. While a Twitter user replied with a concept jersey design that featured the line on the back of McCollum’s jersey, Bleacher Report was able to come up with an actual shirt with the line and sell it on its online store for $25 each. Quite fittingly, the t-shirt is sold in white/red and black/red color schemes to match the Portland Trail Blazers’ home and away jersey colors.