Inside of a backpack tucked neatly in a locker at the Air Canada Centre sits a dark blue moleskin notebook. On any given page may be a wall of hand-written text, a more structured block, or a simple couplet. The writing sprays in all directions and is always scribbled, a messy hand betraying the urgency of a mind swiftly navigating its way from each idea to the next.
“I think so fast, I have to get it out,” C.J. Miles, the owner of the notebook, says. “Some days I have to have a pen and paper, and then some days it’s on a phone. It’s weird. It’s a feeling.”
The notebook, or one like it, can be found in Miles’ possession dating back years now. A restless sleeper and unrelenting thinker as a child, Miles found some solace and calm in writing through his experiences sometime after coming to the NBA right out of high school. There are quiet, empty hours to fill in a job that requires large swaths of travel, and not all of them can be spent in the gym honing one of the deadliest long-range shots in basketball.
And so Miles writes.
“On the plane, on the road, in the hotel. I mean, there’s been days even on the bus, the bus ride on the way to the game,” Miles says. “It’s like a release to me. It helps me narrow my focus. It’s something that keeps me sane, you know?”