City Sports Report

JJ Redick talks competing in three-point contest


Former Duke Blue Devils guard and current Los Angeles Clippers player JJ Redick spoke about competing in the three-point contest, the keys to the team’s success, and more.

Q. Now that it’s on the way, 24 hours away, are you looking forward to it?

J.J. REDICK: I’m definitely looking forward to it. This is something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve had my agents kind of ask the NBA or let the NBA know the last four or five years that I’ve wanted to participate. So very, very happy to get the call this year. Tomorrow is going to be fun. I have no expectations. I don’t feel any pressure or anything. I’m just going to go shoot basketballs. It will be fun.

Q. Is there a way to practice for it? Do you practice taking balls off the rack?
J.J. REDICK: I haven’t practiced at all. My practice round will be tomorrow night at about 9:30 p.m. in Round 1. Hopefully it goes well.

Q. Tell me about your experience playing for Jacque Vaughn —
J.J. REDICK: My experience with Jacque, he allowed me to play with great freedom. He allowed me to play to my strengths. As a player that’s what you want from your coach. You want a coach who let’s you be you. Jacque allowed me to take a big step forward in my career in the almost the full season I spent with him. I’ve always said I loved playing for Jacque. I wish him the best in his future. There will always be a soft spot in my heart for the Magic. I want them to be good. I want them to have a No. 1 team.

Q. J.J., do you think this is the best three-point competition of all time in the field?
J.J. REDICK: Certainly the best in recent history. I would have to look back in the ’90s or whatever, or late ’80s. But the field this year is really tough. I’m excited to be a part of it. If you look at just Kyle, Steph and Klay, those three guys will go down as three of the greatest shooters in NBA history. So to have all three of them in the same competition is pretty remarkable.

Q. Do you think guys are going to have extra butterflies since it’s such a good field?
J.J. REDICK: I think there’s always butterflies when you perform. I don’t think the fact that there’s better competition means anything. You know, again, I look at it as shooting basketballs is something I do every day. The fact that there’s people watching and some racks and some oddly colored balls doesn’t really faze me.

Q. J.J., what do you still want to prove as a three-point shooter in your career?
J.J. REDICK: I mean, realistically, what Kyle is doing this career, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do. To be able to shoot over 50% is crazy. As a shooter, I mean, I would love to have a 90-50-40 year. I would love to join that club. You know, to get to 50% for a guy that takes the majority of the shots from the three is tough. But as Kyle is proving, it’s possible.

Q. What do you think of Kyle being named an All-Star this year?
J.J. REDICK: I think it’s great. I think it’s well-deserved. I actually texted him yesterday to tell him congrats. You know, I applaud the decision-makers after Dwyane backed out of the game to rest for naming Kyle an All-Star, because what he’s done for such a great team is paramount. His ability to spread the floor for them, move off the ball, it’s what makes them go. It’s what makes them tough to defend. And it’s the same reason they’ve had such great team success. I always think the NBA should reward team play.

Q. He might not average 20 points a game —
J.J. REDICK: Yeah, but I think the pendulum has swung a little bit too far in terms of what we value and what we don’t value. But there’s always going to be a place for guys who really play hard and shoot the crap out of the ball.

Q. Looking ahead to the rest of the season, what is going to be the key to your team’s success?
J.J. REDICK: Consistency on the defensive end. I think that’s been our Achilles heel. We have a lot of weapons. We’re going to score with the basketball. If you just look at our last five games, Cleveland, Toronto, Oklahoma City we were off on the defensive end. Didn’t give ourselves a chance to win the game. The last two against Dallas and Houston we were great defensively and won them by double figures. For us that’s what it comes down to.

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