By Rupa Trivedi
JJ Redick Slammed NBA Legend Dominique Wilkins
In a recent debate about the differences in physicality between basketball periods, J.J. Redick and Dominique Wilkins engaged in a back-and-forth.
In a recent appearance on First Take, Redick challenged the idea that basketball players in earlier eras endured a much more physical game, citing Hall of Famer Larry Bird in particular.
Wilkins took offense at this rebuke, saying, “Don’t crap on us to prove your point, because it doesn’t make sense and it’s not valid. I just don’t like the disrespect. And to say that about Larry Bird? Less physicality? Is he stupid? It’s just a stupid comment to make.”
The most current episode of Redick's podcast The Old Man & the Three featured his response to this callout.
“The trope that every old talking head uses, Mad Dog, Stephen A., ‘physicality, physicality, physicality.’ My entire point about the segment was that outside of hard fouls and fighting, the physicality, the basketball play, by play, by play, is not that much different than today’s NBA,” Redick said.
“But it’s become such a talking point that people take it as gospel. The idea that I’m disrespecting older players for questioning media narratives around that era, that’s not disrespect!” he added.
“What I said then, what I’ve said 15 or 16 times since then, on the podcast, on ESPN, ‘players should be celebrated, we should congratulate greatness for that era.”
“The greatest players of every era…they would be fine in any era.’ And one of the pushbacks on that comment is always, ‘today’s players wouldn’t be fine in the ‘80s and ‘90s,’ which is f*cking horsesh*t.”