Hornets.com 1-on-1: Orlando’s J.J. Redick

Thursday, November 22, 2007
By: Lindsey Wyckoff, Hornets.com

Hornets.com will be interviewing visiting players throughout the 2007-08 regular season during their trips to New Orleans, as part of our 1-on-1 feature. We talked to Orlando guard J.J. Redick, asking the second-year pro from Duke about the Blue Devils’ hopes in 2007-08, the holidays, poetry and several other topics.

Hornets.com: How are you feeling about how the season is going so far?

Redick: Obviously, we’ve gotten off to a great start and we’re really excited about where we are. We continue to improve every game and I think early on, that’s what you have to do. I think this team learned from last year’s start. We were 13-4 and were the toast of the town – but it’s a long season.

Hornets.com: How do you feel about Duke’s chances this year?

Redick: I like Duke’s team this year. They have a lot of depth and a lot of talent. I think the players that were on last year’s team are going to be hungry after what happened last year. It was a down year for them.

Hornets.com: Do you miss playing basketball at the collegiate level?

Redick: Yes and no. The only thing I miss about college basketball are the people at Duke. My teammates, obviously, the coaches and the fans, the secretaries – everybody. Duke was a special place for me. (But) I wouldn’t want to go back and play college basketball.

Hornets.com: What are some of the improvements you made this summer on the court?

Redick: It was a productive summer for me. I worked out a ton. I worked on a lot of different stuff, particularly offensively. It’s all about sharpening your skills. I tried to add a couple of things to my game and be in great shape.

Hornets.com: The holidays are coming up. What is your favorite tradition?

Redick: Thanksgiving is right up there with Christmas for me. I love Thanksgiving. For us in the Redick household, we would always sit around the table right before we ate and go around and tell each other what we’re thankful for. I have a family of criers so it always became this 30-minute emotional shindig. I won’t be with my family this year, so I’m going to miss that.

Hornets.com: What was the best Christmas present you ever received?

Redick: My best Christmas present ever was something I got last year. My mom gave me a picture of my granddad when he was 19 and had just enlisted in the Air Force. It has all of his World War II medals in it. He was a bomber pilot.

Hornets.com: Do you have a favorite Christmas song?

Redick: Silent Night is my favorite.

Hornets.com: The media has often asked you about the poetry you’ve written in the past. Is that still something you get a chance to do?

Redick: Absolutely. I actually wrote a little bit on the plane last night. I started writing poetry in eighth grade when my grandfather died. My mom was very close with him and seeing her go through that – it was tough on me because I’m very close with my mom. My first poem I ever wrote was about my grandfather’s death.

Hornets.com: Where do you pull your inspiration from when you write?

Redick: I’m always looking for inspiration. I think I’m inspired by my peers, other athletes – most of the time I’m inspired by my family. They have a huge impact on me – my parents and my brothers and sisters.

Hornets.com: Being that it’s a show based around basketball, has anyone ever told you that you look like James Lafferty from One Tree Hill?

Redick: I actually met him – he’s a really good guy. I was supposed to be on the show, because his character was supposed to play basketball at Duke, but I didn’t get to do it. I get told a lot that I look like Freddie Prinze Jr., but I don’t see it.

Hornets.com 1-on-1: Orlando’s Dwight Howard

By: Cris Quintana, Hornets.com

As part of our reoccurring 1-on-1 interview feature, Hornets.com caught up with Orlando star Dwight Howard to discuss a range of topics.

Hornets.com: You guys are off to a great start this season, what do you attribute that to?

Howard: We’re playing really good basketball right now. We’re all working extremely hard and playing good team basketball. It helps that we’ve been attacking the boards, while shooting the ball well.

Hornets.com: After playing with the USA team this summer, what were some things that you learned from your cast of teammates?

Howard: Just being around guys like Kobe, and accepting the concept that we all are leaders for our individual teams, and put all that aside to play together as one and accept different roles needed for us to win.

Hornets.com: What are your thoughts on Hornets guard Chris Paul?

Howard: He’s an excellent point guard, does everything well out there on the court. He’s an awesome dude both on and off the court.

Hornets.com: If you were to give advice to a young aspiring big man what would you tell him about the NBA?

Howard: Work hard and always leave it all out there on the court

Hornets.com: During the offseason, what did you do differently to prepare for the season?

Howard: I worked extremely hard by lifting weights, running, and just getting my body in the best shape possible. I also spent a lot of time watching film and taking notice of things that I had to get better at, in order to come in to camp ready for the season. It’s all about helping my team get better and winning games.