While his podcast, “The Old Man and the Three”, multiplies the interesting discussions, and his interventions on ESPN are often much more relevant than that of the channel’s usual “polemicists”, JJ Redick has nevertheless drawn the wrath of quite a few people, following a debate comparing Chris Paul and Bob Cousy.
In a basketball version of the quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns, the shooter had thus belittled the legacy of the legendary leader of the Celtics, explaining that he played in his time against “plumbers and firefighters”.
A formula that still remains across the throat of the first generations of NBA basketball players.
“Obviously, the game is totally different” explained Jerry West, when asked about this episode. “Athletes are completely different. I know JJ a bit, he’s a very smart kid and all that, but look at his career. What did he do to influence the game? He was running at what, 12 points per game in the league? »
Indeed, JJ Redick ended his NBA career at 12.8 points on average. Is this the best counter-argument? Maybe not, but for Jerry West, the former Magic and Clippers crossed a yellow line with his remarks.
“At some point, numbers matter. Currently, players are not what they used to be. JJ certainly couldn’t have defended on the best players of the time. And so you can nitpick on anybody. The only reason I’m talking about him is that he wasn’t an elite player. He was a very good player. But he had a place in a team simply because of his shooting quality. »
To conclude, Jerry West recalls that JJ Redick was able to earn nearly $116 million in career salaries (about $8 million per year) thanks to pioneers like Bob Cousy, who had to fight to earn $10,000 per season. (current $123,000, taking inflation into account).
It was indeed the early superstars, like Bob Cousy who allowed the NBA to grow into the current prosperous league. Especially since the latter has also set up the players’ union.
“JJ should be very thankful that he won as much as he won, and Bob Cousy, who I played against for a few years, paved that path… I just think it was very disrespectful. »