JJ Redick probably would benefit from keeping his mouth shut.
The NBA player-turned-ESPN analyst had quite the take on Boston Celtics Larry Bird when he disagreed with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo’s assessment of Bird being a top three 3-point shooter in the NBA. While Redick made a fine point of players like Steph Curry already surpassing Bird’s numbers from beyond the arc, he went off the rails when he “questioned the narrative around physicality” during Bird’s era.
It was a lazy take by Redick, and one that Los Angeles Lakers legend Michael Cooper didn’t take a liking to.
“JJ Redick, who’s a journeyman, played for six different teams, all his accolades came in college,” Cooper said during his “Showtime With Coop” podcast. “He played 15 years in the NBA, was being shifted around from team to team because all he could do was shoot, and he wasn’t that great of a shooter. He was a poor man’s Danny Ainge.
“In today’s NBA game, I don’t know what game he’s looking at, you can’t touch the guy. Anytime you touch the guy, a 3-point shooter, or come close to them when they’re landing, it’s a foul.
“… Larry Bird was one of the greatest shooters that ever played the game. (Expletive) percentages, it ain’t about that. It’s about hitting big shots. That guy, man.”
Cooper believes Redick just wanted the attention that comes with a hot take, but warned the attention he garners from such a blasphemous take may not be what Redick wants.
“JJ Redick needs to be quiet,” Cooper said. “I think he’s gotten out of this what he wants to — his name being thrown around, the attention and all that. You know what, the attention is something he’s not going to want. A lot of former players — myself, along with Dominique (Wilkins) — talk about this guy, who’s a poor man’s Jeff Hornacek.
“… That guy has no clue of how basketball was played in the ’80s and I guarantee you this, J.J. Redick. If you had played in the ’80s, I would’ve locked your ass up. You wouldn’t have got a shot off. You wouldn’t have got nothing off. You would have spent more time on the bench when I was on the floor. You couldn’t have played when I was on the court.”
When a Lakers legend is coming to the defense of a Celtics legend, you know you said something wrong.
Redick probably isn’t done running his mouth, but he’d be smart to do so if he doesn’t want to continue to be embarrassed by people who actually know the game of basketball.