JJ Redick has embarked on a pretty compelling redemption arc since he first made a name for himself in the mid-2000s as one of the Hateable White Dudes that Mike Krzyzewski needed to have on the roster at all times at Duke.
I don’t think many people expected Redick to spend 15 years in the NBA, but the guard managed to do exactly that after establishing himself as a reliable roleplayer with the ability to offer modest but consistent contributions.
Redick also carved out a nice niche for himself in the podcasting space after launching a show in 2016, and he was able to leverage his experience and expertise to land a broadcasting gig with ESPN following his retirement in 2021.
There’s no doubt Redick is an incredibly knowledgeable guy who’s capable of providing viewers and listeners with entertaining and insightful analysis. However, he has also had a bit of trouble staying out of his own way thanks in no small part to the recency bias that’s been one of his more glaring issues.
Last year, Bob Cousy understandably took issue with Redick’s assertion he was “guarded by plumbers and firefighters,” a comment that implicitly minimized what the NBA legend was able to achieve by discounting the level of competition he faced in the 1950s and ’60s.
Now, Redick has once again caught some heat after making an even more absurd assertion on ESPN last week when he suggested Larry Bird didn’t have to deal with the kind of physicality he claimed Steph Curry encounters on a regular basis.
Mad Dog & JJ Reddick. This is gonna be a classic 😭
[🎥: ESPN/youtube] pic.twitter.com/PprjLkPzkQ
— SplashBrosMuse (@SplashBrosMuse) February 15, 2023
That comment was pretty baffling when you consider A) the NBA has changed its rules to ban a number of the defensive strategies opposing players could deploy to slow down Bird and B) there’s plenty of evidence showing the abuse the Celtics legend had to deal with during his prime.
It’s safe to say Dominique Wilkins is firmly Team Bird in this case, as he did not hold back while ripping into Redick over the “idiotic” take.
“Redick doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about”
Dominique Wilkins disagrees with J.J. Redick about the physicality in the NBA now compared to the 80s/90s@termineradio | @SamMitchellNBA | @DWilkins21 pic.twitter.com/DzbWG73WjE
— SiriusXM NBA Radio (@SiriusXMNBA) February 21, 2023
Here’s what he had to say:
“Redick doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. What basketball was you watching? To say something as idiotic as that is ridiculous.
The physicality that was a part of the league—when you can put your hand on a guy’s hip and make him go a certain way… how many guys can deal with that kind of pressure?
And for JJ Redick, who has played this game, I’m very disappointed that he said something so stupid.”
Damn, Dominique. Tell us how you really feel.