JJ Redick is an expert in a few areas: he's one of the great shooters in college basketball history and was excellent in the NBA as well. He’s also - well was also - one of the world’s great trash talkers, and not just with the other teams but opposing fans as well. He is now one of the premier sports podcasters in all the land and is building an ESPN career on that.
And he knows, as well as anyone, what it is to be portrayed as a villain.
Redick says it’s just part of being at Duke.
Moreover, he argues - and who can disagree? - that the three biggest “villains” all went to Duke - himself, that magnificent bastard Christian Laettner, and later of course, Grayson Allen.
Here’s his take: “I mean, it’s all Duke guys … Some of that is just because it’s a little bit of overexposure when you play at Duke. We’re on TV more than any other team … Every year .. And it’s like the white villain, which Laettner started. Thanks, Christian.”
That’s pretty funny, because Laettner’s shot against Kentucky totally sold Redick on Duke: the story is that he turned to his dad after that play and said he wanted to go to Duke.
He probably didn’t mean to embrace and extend Laettner’s villain thing, but what can you do? We’re glad that he did.