At the start of the year NBA analyst JJ Redick got into a lot of trouble for dissing Larry Bird’s career, and it still is having repercussions on his reputation. The former Clippers guard had criticized the physicality of the Celtics legend’s era during an episode of his own podcast.
He then clarified what he truly intended to say, stating that he has no hate for Bird and his Hall of Famer career.
“I didn’t disrespect Larry Bird. I questioned the narrative around physicality,” he explained. “I said for every montage video you can show me of Larry Bird being in a headlock underneath the basket, I can show you a montage video of him shooting open jumpers. Of him coming off pin-downs. Yeah, I can show Steph the same way. I can show Steph getting held, I can show Larry getting held. It’s all basketball.”
One of the most important voices to speak against Redick’s comments was NBA legend Dominique Wilkins, who actually played in both the 80s and 90s, and competed against Bird in many occasions.
Even though the sport analyst explained that his argument was surrounding the fact that Bird’s era wasn’t as physical as many would think, it has certainly been interpreted as a disrespectful remark.
“He’s stupid,” Wilkins said during a recent VladTV interview. “It’s a stupid comment, because Larry Bird played in the most physical era ever. He’s 6’10”, almost 6’11”. He was physical himself.”
JJ Redick is considered the ‘front-runner’ to replace Jeff Van Gundy on ESPN’s NBA Broadcast
According to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports, JJ Redick is top of the list to join ESPN’s No. 1 NBA broadcasting team alongside play-by-play announcer Mike Breen and analyst Mark Jackson.
The former sharpshooter, who just joined ESPN as an analyst in 2021, said last month that next season’s NBA broadcasts on ESPN and ABC will “be a little weird” after they fired many of their top icons.
“It’s going to be a little weird, for sure. I felt like Mark and Jeff and Mike is just such an iconic team. And they’ve been on the call for so many historic moments, at least historic moments in my generation. So It’s gonna be weird,” Redick told the press.
REPORT: JJ Redick has emerged as the “front-runner” to replace Jeff Van Gundy on ESPN, via @MMcCarthyREV.
Redick could join Mike Breen and Mark Jackson as play-by-play announcers. pic.twitter.com/cKRBFMMaXQ
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) July 18, 2023
“I think any time something like this happens, we made cuts in March that were sort of off-air talents on the production side, I just feel for the people and wish them the best. It sucks. It’s my first time in this world going through this cycle, it hurts to see people you work with and care about lose their jobs. Most of them will be fine,” he expressed.
As far as his own career, he feels content with his present. “I called 25 games last year, so that’s in my contract and ultimately probably where I want to spend the majority of my time,” Redick shared. “But right now, I’m happy to do ‘First Take’ and call games.”