It’s hard to remember, and more so for people who either weren’t born yet or who don’t have memories of JJ Redick’s time at Duke, but a lot of opposing fans saw him as unbearable cocky. In particular, Maryland fans loved to give him a go. At one point, we think after his sophomore year, in a moment of brutal honesty, Coach K told him he wasn’t worthy of being a national champion.
That marked a turning point for Redick, who became entirely worthy of that honor, though he never reached it.
And in the NBA, he continued to work like a champion and has built considerable respect, something that this podcast has contributed to. Redick has proven to be a surprisingly interesting host with not just a wide variety of interests, but enough curiosity to ask the right questions of guests he may not know that much about. He’s really good at it.
That said, Redick had asked the Pelicans front office to trade him back East so he could be closer to his family during the pandemic.
He was sent to Dallas instead and on Wednesday, Redick reacted and reacted quite sharply, saying this about his former employers:
“I talked to [David Griffin]. I talked to Trajan [Langdon]. Griff basically says to me, ‘Come down for a month. If you still want to be traded, I give you my word, I’ll get you to a situation that you like.’ We had four subsequent conversations. Again, my agent talked to them. But I’m talking to Griff directly. Griff and I had a personal relationship.
“Obviously, he did not honor his word..I don’t think you’re going to get honesty from that front office, just objectively speaking. That’s not an opinion — I just don’t think you’re going to get that. I don’t think what happened with me is necessarily an isolated incident either. But I do think across the league, front offices, they act in their best interest. I get that. I understand that.
“Truthfully — and it’s hard for me to admit this — I think I was a little naive in thinking that because I was in Year 15, and I had at least attempted to do things right throughout my career and I honored my end of the bargain … But in terms of this front office, yeah, it’s not something where I would expect certainly the agents that worked on this with me to ever trust that front office again.”
Opinions have rolled in, notably from Richard Jefferson and Robert Horry, who weren’t impressed.
The reality is, though, that very few NBA players have power and virtually none of them are over 30. Probably what Griffin should have said was “I will do everything in my power” to make you happy and then he could simply have said you know what? I just couldn’t.
It stinks for Redick, who has a lovely wife and adorable children and of course he wants to be closer to home. But, as people always say, and as Horry and Jefferson remind, the NBA is most definitely a business.
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