JJ Redick has announced his basketball retirement after an impressive 15-year pro-career, as well as four infamous years staring at Duke.
Earlier this week, JJ Redick called it quits for an NBA career. Throughout his basketball journey, Redick has been a critical contributor to his team’s success. In the NBA, Redick was an extremely valuable bench presence due to his spark-plug scoring ability. His tenure cemented him as one of the association’s best snipers ever.
However, kids today may not realize how big he once was. In the NBA, Redick was a much more mellow team player who did whatever he could for his team. In college, Redick was the team. During his tenure at Duke, only a couple of Redick’s teammates were distinguishable NBA talents. Furthermore, as the face of the ferociously hated Duke basketball team, Redick suffered through a severe amount of criticism and hate from opposing fans. Despite this, Redick overcame all the hate and worked his way into being an all-time great Duke Blue Devil.
JJ Redick: Duke’s Star Player
Coming out of high school, Redick was a McDonald’s All-American and was the 37th ranked high school recruit. Coach K and those at Duke held high hopes for Redick, but few would anticipate what was yet to come. As a true freshman, Redick was the Blue Devils’ second-leading scorer (15ppg) and made the All-ACC 3rd team. Similarly, Redick’s second collegiate season saw some minor improvement, with him leading the team in scoring (15.9 ppg) and being named onto the All-ACC 2nd team. However, a heartwrenching Semi-Final loss in the NCAA tournament would spark a flame under Redick’s fire.
In his third year, Redick sprouted into one of, if not the best collegiate basketball players in the country. Redick would average 21.8 ppg, 2.6 apg, 3.3 rpg while shooting the three at a remarkably high clip (40.3%). In doing so, Redick was the ACC Player of the Year, a consensus 1st Team All-American, and the recipient of college basketball’s best player award, the Rupp Trophy. Moreover, the racking up of accolades does not end there, as Redick would repeat for each one.
Additionally, in Redick’s senior season, his scoring and efficiency continued improving. His points jumped to 26.8 a night while shooting 48% from the field and 42.1% from beyond the arc. In doing so, Redick, on top of the already mentioned awards, was the AP Player of the Year and received the Wooden and Naismith Award too. However, the most significant stain on Redick’s collegiate career was never making it deep in March Madness. Nonetheless, his Duke tenure would still put him atop their all-time scoring and 3pt list.
JJ Redick: NBA Bust or Valuable Role Player?
After being arguably the best Duke player ever, Redick entered the 2006 NBA draft. However, despite all of his accolades, most considered him a late-lottery pick. And with the 11th pick in the draft, the Orlando Magic took the acclaimed collegiate star. In his four years at Duke, Redick started all but 5 games. Conversely, in his first three seasons with Orlando, Redick only started 5 games. Similarly, it took Redick until his 8th pro-season to average more than 15 ppg, a feat he never fell below in college.
Although Redick’s NBA career is somewhat disappointing compared to his time in college, he filled an extremely desirable role in the pros. Redick was the prime example of what every team in basketball needs: a willing knockdown shooter off the bench. And when it came to shooting, Redick was always elite.
In the 2015-2016 season, he led the NBA in three-point percentage (47.5%), making it the 28th most efficient 3pt shooting season ever. Comparatively, Redick’s worst 3pt% in a season was 36.6%, which was still 0.7% greater than that year’s league average. Therefore, Redick’s consistency from deep made him a frequently desired asset for any championship-contending team. In an unfortunate irony, Redick actually made the playoffs all but one year, yet he never won a title.
Regardless, Redick’s NBA tenure will live on in the record books because he sits in 15th and 17th all-time for made threes and career 3pt%, respectively. While his absence from the game of basketball will be sorely missed, Redick walks away as both an all-time great at Duke and amongst NBA sharpshooters.
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