JJ Redick looks to throw an inbound pass vs. the LA Clippers

NBA Superlatives: Pelicans guard JJ Redick

by Jim Eichenhofer

Fourteen years ago, Duke University’s all-time leading scorer was selected 11th overall in the NBA draft by the Orlando Magic. All these years later, despite the Blue Devils successfully recruiting some of the nation’s top basketball players, JJ Redick remains atop the ACC school’s career points list. The 35-year-old is also now one of just seven players from the 2006 draft class who remain active in the NBA (the others are No. 2 pick LaMarcus Aldridge, No. 8 Rudy Gay, No. 13 Thabo Sefolosha, No. 21 Rajon Rondo, No. 24 Kyle Lowry and No. 47 Paul Millsap). Redick’s staying power in the league has been based partly on his mastery of his perimeter shot, as he ranks tied for 14th in career three-pointers made (1,860, deadlocked with LeBron James). His longevity is probably not due much to his natural athleticism, which Redick alluded to during one of his responses in this feature with Pelicans.com:

Most memorable moment in the NBA: “Playing in the NBA Finals with Orlando in 2009.”

Most memorable dunk in the NBA: “It was actually my only dunk of my NBA career, so I remember it quite well. Gilbert Arenas took a jumper from the right elbow, the shot was long off the back rim. Dwight Howard pushed Zaza Pachulia, grabbed the offensive rebound. I happened to be stationed in the right corner. When I saw Dwight get the rebound, I cut baseline and he passed it to me. I went off two feet with no dribble and did a two-hand, clean dunk. The TV announcer for the Hawks (analyst Dominique Wilkins) said, ‘I didn’t even know JJ could dunk!’ That was eight years ago.” [laughs]

Most surprising thing about the NBA as a rookie: “Probably just how long the season is. You can’t quite grasp 82 games, plus preseason, plus playoffs. It’s literally the equivalent of two and a half or three college seasons.”

Toughest NBA players he’s ever faced: “Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Manu Ginobili, Kobe Bryant of course, James Harden, Steph Curry. These guys are some of the best players ever.”

Best uniforms in the NBA (besides the Pelicans’): “I really haven’t given that much thought, but I’ll say the pink Miami Vice uniforms.”

Favorite NBA road arena: “Madison Square Garden. The first time I played there, I was 17 years old in the McDonald’s All-American Game. Then I played there every year at Duke, so I’ve literally been playing at MSG for 18 or 19 years now. It’s a special place. There is a different energy, a different buzz. New York City is awesome.”

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