As you probably know by now, JJ Redick has opted to end his 15-year NBA career. He listed several reasons but the biggest one is probably an Achilles injury that he’ll have to have surgery for. It’s asking a lot for him to come back from that at 37.
So not suprisingly he’s looking for something else to do besides his highly regarded podcast and now he’s found it: he’s joining ESPN as an NBA analyst. Given his knowledge, intelligence and training, we’d say he has a bright future.
Redick had a Zoom conference call on Monday and talked about many things aside from his new gig, including his time at Duke, Zion Williamson and some of Coach K’s motivational techniques.
This story is pretty great and very much a Krzyzewski thing:
“[W]e’re getting ready to play Georgia Tech coming off an emotional Wednesday game. I believe it was at Wake Forest; we lost. I had missed a half-court shot to tie it at the buzzer.
“We come in Friday night, and we watched Braveheart, which we’ve all probably seen Braveheart. It’s a very visceral film, lots of blood, lots of gore, lots of violence. We watched the battle scene, the first main battle scene where he’s fighting with the rebels. People’s heads are getting chopped off, heads on spikes, all of that thing. We weren’t sure what was happening.
“The next day, we come in for the pregame meeting. He plays the same scene again. He’s not in the room. In hindsight, I should have noticed that there was a flower pot sitting next to the big screen, and as the scene culminates, he runs in with this army saber and screaming like William Wallace and sticks it in the flower pot. If you don’t want to go play after that, you don’t have a soul.”
What a lot of people don’t know is that he periodically has repeated his motivational ploys. For instance, Dahntay Jones told a similar Braveheart story but when K did it that earlier time, he actually threw a flaming arrow and caught the floor and the wall on fire.
It worked then, too: Duke beat the crap out of Michigan.