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JJ Redick reveals to The Starting Five when he knew how good he was at basketball

Set Free Richardson and Jadakiss welcomed the 15-year NBA vet to The Compound to chop it up in the latest episode of The Starting Five.

JJ Redick was one of the best long-range shooters in recent memory and a link in the long chain of notable Duke products in the NBA.

JJ stopped by The Compound for an in-depth conversation with Set Free Richardson and Jadakiss on the latest episode of The Starting Five on DraftKings Network.

Set Free calls JJ his favorite analyst and JJ says it’s interesting that he often gets tagged as being too pro player. Of course he is, he’s a former player after all! He says the haters come out of the woodwork when he says something positive about LeBron or KD, but when he’s truthful and calls someone out no one ever acknowledges it. That being said, JJ feels as though he’s never held anything back, other than some colorful language perhaps. He says that he has no agenda on the mic, it’s all about the love of basketball. So whether it’s positive or negative, JJ says anything that comes out of his mouth comes from that love of the game.

Set Free brings up a line he always says. “For some people, this is a job, some people who knows what they’re doing it for, but I live this.” JJ says that’s a great point and he didn’t recognize that in his own life until he retired. He says as his career wound down he had a number of things he wanted to do, perhaps even going back to business school or taking the GMAT, but once he retired he realized his life is basketball. Now he is getting to have a second career in the game he loves.

JJ also talks about how he was lucky and was able to turn a negative into a positive. Going into eighth grade he got undercut at AAU nationals and broke his right wrist. Then two weeks after getting his cast off, he got undercut again and broke his left wrist. While having that cast on his left wrist for eight weeks, he learned how to shoot one-handed without a guide hand. Later he would get undercut again, but playing with his age group for that AAU season made him realize, humbly, that he was one of the best players in the country for his age. After leading his AAU team to a win in the consolation game at nationals, his mom came up to him and said she though he could do it, she thought he could play at his dream school ... Duke. In that moment, JJ thought to himself, “Damn, I might actually be good, I might be alright.”

JJ says the culture at Duke can be credited to one man — Coach K. Once JJ arrived on campus, he admits he didn’t initially handle the immense pressure well. He says you have this glorified version of what it means to be a Duke basketball player. He says he had no idea of how intense it was going to be, he had no idea of the pressure, he had no idea how good everyone else was on his team or how good the competition was. It’s a serious level up, to be followed by another serious level up going from the college ranks to the NBA.

He says he struggled with that initially and then he really struggled once Duke started hitting the road ... and everybody hated him. So he created a brash personality on the court to combat that. He says it was almost a flight or fight response. By the end of his sophomore year, the pressure got so intense that he met with his older sisters and contemplated quitting. And he’s glad they talked him out of it.

But what was it like being the “villain?”

For more of the conversation with JJ Redick check out the full interview below. For more of The Starting Five, you can tune in every Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET on DraftKings Network on Samsung TV Plus, Roku, Xumo Play or here on! Learn more about how to watch here.


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