On J.J. Redick
"On a basketball note - met J.J. Redick for the first time today. We shot an interview on the Magic's practice court for the upcoming Magic season preview show on Sun Sports. Nice guy. The idea behind the interview, which you'll see on that preview show next month, was to get him talking about shooting, and the mentality of a "gunner."At one point, I asked if he considered himself the "most hated player in the ACC" while at Duke. He replied that he was probably the most hated player in America while at Duke, which was a good point. The look on his face when he said it, however, gave me pause. Redick went on to say that he's a different person off the floor than on it, and that the venom directed at him over the course of his Duke career snowballed, took on a life of its own. I got the sense that he wouldn't mind being liked, for a change. I almost felt sorry for him, and immediately regretted asking the question.The point of the question, by the way, was to get him to this one: "Would you mind being hated in the NBA, if it meant being hated the way Reggie Miller was hated - despised by opposing fans, but adored by home fans for his willingness and unprecedented skill at making big shots at key moments?"That prompted a smile. "If I get the ball in that situation, sure," he said, "but I'm just a rookie. I'm not sure how many chances I'll get as a rookie."They grow 'em pretty smart up at Duke. Defer to the veterans, play it cool, wait your turn. I'm starting to like him already. And in case you're wondering - Redick's range extends a good five feet beyond the three-point line. It's all about the lift, people."