Summer Catch Up With Josh Richardson

Issac Baldizon
by Couper Moorhead

Couper Moorhead: It feels like last season was a year ago at this point. Looking back with some distance between it, was it a disappointing year for you individually, or was it more uplifting with the way you got your shot back in the last month?

Josh Richardson: I don’t think it was disappointing at all. I was disappointed I got injured and I missed a lot of games. It was a year for me to grow in a lot of different ways. I never really got hurt before that so I learned how to be patient and be a good teammate when I’m not contributing on the court. I already knew how to enjoy success but it’s to a whole new level now. Once I put that with putting everything back together on the court like I did at the end, it was a good end to it.

I read a feature on Kevin Durant recently about how when he broke his foot it was the first time he had had a major injury and was out for a long time. He had never been without basketball that long so he sort of had to recalibrate himself and figure out what he actually likes to do in his free time. Did you go through that at all?

Kind of. It just puts stuff into perspective. You remember that your life doesn’t revolve around basketball only. There’s other stuff. I found out a couple things like internet shopping [laughs]. I already played video games all the time.

Where are you shopping?

I like Amazon. A lot. It’s dangerous.

Prime, two-day delivery?

Yyyup. Every time. Danger. And then I found a lot of fashion magazines. I found I’m really into fashion. I never was the best dresser because I never really cared. I would always wear sweatpants and a t-shirt every day. Having time on my hands opened up my eyes to that a little bit. I got a stylist, started talking to her about clothes.

So this season you’re going to have a pre-game and a post-game outfit?

Nah. I probably still won’t be dressing that crazy. But I think it’s cool to have that option if I want to. I like looking at other people’s dress and how other people’s styles are.

Who are the best dressed guys right now? Are you a Russell [Westbrook] guy, or more of a classic guy?

I’m a classic guy. I really liked how Luol [Deng] dressed. I think he has very simple style. Effortless, but you could see the small stuff.

What are you doing to work on your game right now? Staying with these guys [in Miami] or are you going to any private gyms?

I’ve been in California for three and a half weeks. At P3 [a popular sports-science gym in Santa Barbara] with my trainer out there. Working on stability in my body, and core stuff. Then I came back here and I was working with Coach [Chris] Quinn a lot. Trying to add new aspects to my game.

Do you like how scientific they get at P3, or is it more about the body work?

I pay attention to both of them. I like the scientific stuff because it tells you exactly what is wrong and what you need to do to fix it. They like to pinpoint things. I’m pretty specific about things like that. It’s been great, I’ll be going back out there later in the summer.

What are you working on with Quinn? Point guard skills mostly, or are you changing the model at all of who you want to be?

Still working on point guard stuff. I think I can help this team with that. Trying to work on mid-range things, how to get an open shot. You see guys like Kobe and Michael who could get to a mid-range shot whenever they wanted. Michael Jordan was probably the best at that ever. If the game was going a certain way, you could give him the ball and he could find a way to an easy shot. There’s not a lot of people in the NBA that can do that. I want to be able a guy who can create his own shot.

That’s interesting because most of the league doesn’t talk about the mid-range shot like that, with threes, layups and the math of the game. Did anybody turn you on to that or did you decide on that course yourself?

It’s just a good skill I think I should have, since I’m taller than a lot of guys that can guard me. If I can just create a little bit of space I can shoot over the top of them.

Including post-up action, the baseline fadeaway?

I hope so, yeah. I’ve been working on it a little bit, but I’m probably going to put a lot more emphasis on it the next couple of weeks.

Are you watching the Finals? What's stuck out?

KD brings a dimension to the Warriors that’s pretty much unimaginable. It’s something I’ve never seen. You take a team that won 73 games last season, and they’re already one of the best teams in the NBA, and you put a Top 3 player in the world on there. He brings a dimension they didn’t really have last year. He’s seven foot, he’s a mismatch nightmare, he can play the four, you can put Draymond at the five, he can score on anybody whenever he wants. He can get his own shot whenever he wants. You can’t teach that. You can’t even really draw that up anymore.

On the defensive end, complementing everything they want to do there?

Yeah. He’s unselfish, too. He’s a superstar, he’s still very unselfish. He’s a great scorer but he doesn’t care about only his numbers.

I know that when the media says, ‘People say…’ it can just be random Twitter people or one sportswriter with a hot take, but there does seem to be a contingent that is almost upset the Warriors are this good. As in, they’re bad for the league. What do you think about that?

When the HEAT were that good, everybody hated them. When the Lakers had Shaq and Kobe, everybody hated them. It goes as far back, in sports, as you can think. Everybody hates the best team. It is what it is. 

As a player, when you see a team that good, what does it make you think about your future and what this team needs to do?

That we have work to do. You see a team that good with that many great pieces, it makes me think we’re capable of it. We beat them once this year, we played them close. The things we did this year, I don’t think it’s ever been done, with the turnaround we had. I think we can be one of those teams. I think we can go contend, but we have to put it together for a whole year and pray for health.