JJ Redick Q + A
Redick talks UNC-Duke, Three-Point Shootout and cooking.
by Randy Zellea
Still remembered for his great run at Duke, JJ Redick, currently the all time leading scorer in school history, has moved on. Redick is looking to silence his doubters by proving he can play at the next level in the NBA.
Now in his fourth season with Orlando, Redick has matched his career high in games played and is averaging just under 10 ppg SLAMonline recently sat down with Redick and spoke about the Duke-UNC rivalry, his transition in to the NBA, being labeled as a jump shooter, the possibility of competing in the Three-Point Shootout and his passion off the court.
SLAM: What do you think you and your teammates have to do to repeat last season’s success?
JJ Redick: I think defend. We found out during the last six weeks that when we defend, we are a pretty good basketball team. We can beat anybody and our challenge is to keep improving on the defensive side of the floor. People focus on our shooting and Dwight’s inside play, but if you look at the numbers, when we defend, we win. We did that last year in the Playoffs and we won.
SLAM: Being from a high profile basketball school, did you feel there were higher expectations coming into the NBA?
JJR: No. I know that people had put higher expectation levels on others. After my sophomore year, people felt I wasn’t good enough to play in the NBA. It is funny how expectations are raised when you have some success. In terms of transition from college to the NBA, coming from Duke, I just have embraced the last couple of years as a learning experience and appreciate the whole ride.
SLAM: Why do you think the transition works for some and not others?
JJR: I think there is 420-450 jobs available and there is probably twice that many players who can play in the NBA. So the guys who stick with it find good situations and really work. There are guys Like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwight Howard that are naturally unbelievable. But for a lot of guys, you have to set yourself apart by your work ethic and what you can contribute.
SLAM: How do you feel about getting labeled as a pure jump shooter in the NBA?
JJR: Everyone gets a label. I don’t really care about what category I am in to be honest. I just want to fit in and play my role. I appreciate what I have and love my job.
SLAM: Would you ever compete in the Three-Point Shootout?
JJR: If the League invited me to compete in the event, I would love to participate. I would have done it this year, but from what I understand they wanted players that were already going to be out at the event. I didn’t even get a look this year, but hopefully, next year I can shoot a high percentage and will be invited.
SLAM: Is the Duke-UNC rivalry fan driven? Is it a rivalry with the players?
JJR: It’s absolutely fan driven. There is a definite rivalry because you want to have bragging rights around town while you’re a player there. I don’t know many UNC guys. There are a couple who really dislike Duke guys. For the most part I have not had many issues with the UNC alumni.
SLAM: What do you miss about Duke?
JJR: I miss the people. When my time at Duke was done, I was ready to get out of there. I put a lot into my four years and when I go back, I really enjoy spending time with the coaches and members of the Duke family.
SLAM: What do you do with your spare time?
JJR: I am taking up cooking. I am a nasty cook. When I get done playing I might go to culinary school. My fiancé and I really enjoy cooking, so we try to cook while I am home. We are not real big fans of going out for dinner. By us cooking, it becomes fun for us and it’s something we do together.
SLAM: Do you play video games?
JJR: I really don’t play as much anymore. I didn’t play for about two years until Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare II came out. I got that and beat it in three days and stopped playing.