A few weeks ago, our sports pages ran a story asking “What should J.J. Redick do?”
The former Cave Spring star isn’t getting much playing time with the Orlando Magic in the NBA — riding the pine, it used to be called. Here comes a response from reader Ron Carroll, below.
The “VG” he refers to is Van Gundy, the Orlando coach. So what do you think? You can click “comments” below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org just like Ron did.
JJ Redick is in a difficult spot. The only way he will play under VG in Orlando is if VG believes he can help the team win games they would otherwise lose. In other words, if they are winning the majority of their games (as they did last year), Redick will not play. Why? Because in VG opinion, they have a better chance of winning more games without him.
Does that mean VG is correct or that Redick cannot play at the Pro level and be a very good player? Absolutely not. History is laden with examples of players not given an opportunity for months or even years, only to later show that they can play and, indeed, play better than those they sat behind. VG’s position is his opinion — which as coach he has every right to have and act on.
Also, basketball is a game where “roles” mean a great deal. As the talent level increases, the better a player is at a particular role, the more likely he or she is to get playing time. Redick has shown he is best playing the role of a go-to scorer. The question Smith and VG have asked themselves is, “Should Redick be one of our go-to scorers as this level?” For two years the answer has been no. However, on the positive side, Redick has never entered two or three games in a role with the coach’s full confidence, and then been given 30 minutes each game to see what he can do. In other words, he has never been given a real chance to either fail or succeed.
Net-Net: the best Redick can hope for is to be traded to another team where he is given a real shot. Why? Because the longer he remains on the bench, the more difficult it will become for him physically (getting rusty) and psychologically (losing confidence). No matter what, Redick must do whatever he can (including playing in Europe) to get playing time.