Our Interview With J.J. Redick
People don't boo scrubs. They don't boo the average players. They boo the guys that kick their favorite team's ass time after time. Due to his success at Duke, J.J. Redick was one of the most hated athletes in the country. Hell I named my website after him!! Luckily he's a good enough guy to grant IHJJR an exclusive interview during the middle of the NBA playoffs.
How does/did that make you feel when people booed and talked trash? Did it bother you? Did you feed off the boos and negative energy when you played in front of hostile crowds? Were you ever puzzled by it or wished it weren't the case?
J.J.: When I first got to Duke I was initially puzzled and hurt by the hostility and trash talking during ACC road games. It's not something that you can be prepared for as an 18 year old from a relatively small town in Virginia. My first couple of years at Duke I reacted by creating a brash on-court persona- i.e. returning the trash talk, head-bobbing, laughing, smiling etc. During my junior and senior year at Duke I didn't do as much talking for two reasons- 1) I wanted to let my play do the talking and 2) I got used to it. All the heckling and jeering didn't bother me anymore. Believe me, I've heard EVERYTHING. Even now in the league I will occasionally draw the ire of some drunk fan and there's nothing that's said that I haven't already heard.
What was your initial reaction when you found out there was a website that appeared to curse your existence?
J.J.: I stumbled across ihatejjredick.com at some point over the last couple years. I was flattered. And I laughed. I also browsed around the site and realized that the site's purpose wasn't to "curse my existence". That made me feel better.
Without getting into details what impact, if any, did the Dwight Howard/Van Gundy situation have on the rest of the team this season?
J.J.: Our season has been DEFINED by the drama surrounding Dwight and subsequently, the Dwight/Stan relationship. And that's unfortunate because I think we have had some good moments as a team and have a chance to make a run in the playoffs but the entire situation has been an emotional and mental drain on a lot of people.
Where the hell did this rumor come from that you were making a rap album??????
J.J.: I started it. I played a little joke on our local media here in Orlando during my fourth season in the league (09-10). Ryan Anderson made beats and, as some people know, I used to write terrible poetry. Naturally, the two of us thought it would be funny to tell our local beat writers we were working on a rap album. Of course, the local media ran with it and it eventually ended up on SLAM's site and a few national hip-hop sites. I even had the VP of Apple's iTunes division email me and tell me he would get the album on iTunes and help me promote it. There was never going to be a rap album.
What's on your iPod right now? Whatcha listening to?
J.J.: I'm really into alt/indie/folk rock. The Of Monsters and Men album has been playing on repeat the last few weeks for me. I'm also into this band Milo Greene from LA. They have only released a couple of songs but their full album is coming out this summer. I like a lot of different bands- Kings of Leon, The Black Keys, Phoenix, and Silversun Pickups are some of my favorites.
While trolling your twitter bio I noticed you're a self proclaimed foodie. What was the best meal you've ever had?
J.J.: I've eaten at the French Laundry twice. FL was named best restaurant in the world twice and this year made the top 50 again in San Pellegrino's annual 50 best restaurant list. Both meals I've had there would have to be my best meal ever. The highlight of the first meal was the squab course. It was superb. The highlight of the second meal was the ribeye and some caviar/oyster course. I love oysters.
I have to mention my runner-up favorite meal. It was after a playoff game last year in Atlanta- my wife and I went to Holman and Finch and we had such an enjoyable time. The highlights included pork buns and bone marrow.
What's the best AND worst part about being a professional athlete?
J.J.: There's a lot of pros and cons that come with being a professional athlete. However, the pros far outweigh the cons. I get to do something I love and that's a huge blessing. I would say the schedule is the best AND the worst part about my job. I get around 4 months off every summer that I get to spend however I want. I take a vacation with my wife, visit my family in North Carolina and Virginia, and train to get better. But during the season the schedule is a nightmare- constant travel, late nights, and I'm away from my wife for half the year, essentially.
What NBA team has the most obnoxious fans?
J.J.: Boston. But I'm sure if I played for Boston I would think the fans were awesome. Their fans bring it every game.
Who is your favorite NBA player to watch?
J.J.: James Harden. There's a lot of great players that I enjoy watching but Harden is such a joy to watch because of how efficient and smooth he is in the pick-and-roll.
Really hard to hate a guy that seems so down to earth isn't it? J.J. is obviously more than just a basketball player and it's cool to see that side of athletes instead of the typical cookie cutter questions "real" reporters ask. I truly appreciate J.J. taking the time to talk to us. Give him a shout @JJRedick and let him know what you thought of the interview!