J.J. Redick is not making any new friends with his unique takes on the competitive landscape for yesteryear’s NBA players, and now Dominique Wilkins has something to say about it. “The Human Highlight Film” heard Redick’s assertion to Chris “Mad Dog” Russo on “First Take” that Larry Bird didn’t face as intense physical play as in today’s game, and he wasn’t having it.
Dom Ain’t Having It
Dominique Wilkins, during a radio appearance this week, had perspective about Redick’s assertions.
“First of all, Redick doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about,” Wilkins said on Sirius XM NBA Radio. “What basketball was you watching? To say something as idiotic as that is ridiculous. The physicality that was a part of the league?
“Ay, look, when you can put your hand on a guy’s hip and make him go a certain way if you can put that elbow on his chest to slow him up, which we called slowing a guy up when you coming down the lane, see how many guys can deal with that kind of pressure; and for JJ Reddick who played this game, I’ve very disappointed that he said something so stupid.”
Top 5 Dead Or Alive?
Sports radio jock and “First Take” guest star Chris “Mad Dog” Russo made a point during a debate about the imbalance of NBA play and the neo-importance of the three-point game, where players “give up dunks to shoot threes on fast breaks,” that Larry Bird was, “one of the top five three-point shooters of all time.”
Redick strongly disagreed.
“Doggie, it’s just math. It’s attempts, it’s makes, and it’s percentage, and there’s no way you could ever argue Larry Bird is a top-three 3-point shooter of all time,” Redick said to a stunned Russo and Stephen A. Smith last week. “You can’t make that argument.”
“He’s one of the best shooters ever. We had this discussion the other day about James Naismith. (When) James Naismith invented the game; you were rewarded for putting the ball into the basket. There’s plenty of people that have shot more, made more, and, guess what made more and at a higher percentage than Larry Bird, from three. I’m not saying Larry Bird isn’t one of the greatest shooters ever; he’s not one of the greatest three-point shooters ever.”
Russo wasn’t trying to hear it, and, amid the attempted interjections of Smith, came straight for Reddick’s age — he was born in 1984 — saying Redick wasn’t priviliged to witness Bird and the game as it was then like Russo did.
Following a strident disagreement from Russo, Redick doubled down. “You and I are going to sit down, and we’re going to sit there, and we’re going to watch Finals games from the 1980s, and I’m going to show you what physical basketball is versus physical fouling,” the former Duke guard said. “When I watch Steph Curry off the ball in a playoff game, getting grabbed and held by Marcus Smart, they’re attached to him at all times. Then when I watch Larry Bird come off a pin-down, and no one’s within five feet of him and they’re shooting the gap, you’re telling me one’s more physical than the other? You’re telling me that’s more physical than Steph Curry being held for 48 minutes?”
’Nique Wants Respect On His Era’s Name
Wilkins thought Redick showed his lack of knowledge about the play from a past NBA era and needs to stop negatively comparing today’s game versus yesterday’s.
“Here’s what I have a problem with: Bird, who’s a big guy, who got bumped all the time, played around the basket more than guards played around the basket,” Wilkins continued. “So I don’t understand the logic of him saying that when clearly those big guys, even big guys today, they get touched a little bit more than little guys because they’re around the basket. This is the thing I hate the most; we had our time.
“It was a great time. It’s their time now but don’t crap on us to prove your point because it doesn’t make sense and it’s not valid. I just dont like the disrespect. It’s a stupid comment to make and he should know better than that. You really don’t know, do you?”
JJ Redick and Mad Dog always battle over basketball eras, and the more they do the more legends are getting heated.