Redick blasts Williamson
CJ McCollum got traded to the Pelicans. This means Zion has a new teammate to help push the team to make the playoffs someday. However, McCollum revealed he hadn't talked to Williamson after the trade, which was quite baffling.
“I haven’t had conversations with him directly. I’ve spoken with some people close to him, and I look forward to sitting down with him sooner than later. I know about as much as you do right now, but I’m gonna get to the bottom of it.”
Redick wasn’t having any of it and blasted Williamson along the way. As a former player in the NBA, he knows some of the unwritten rules in the league.
“This is a little bit insane to me. There’s a general decorum of behavior that you should apply as a teammate. I was never the best player on any team I was on, but if there was a buyout possibility or a trade possibility, I would always reach out to teammates. This shows a complete lack of investment in your team, the organization, in the city. I get that he’s hurt and away from the team, but you just traded for one of the 50 best players in the league. A guy that’s supposed to be paired with you. Reach out and say hello. This is a pattern of behavior with Zion that we are seeing again and again.”
Franchise players are expected to reach out to newcomers, especially one of the better performing players in the NBA because they are assets. You would want to start building professional relationships with them as soon as possible. After all, those are the people you will go to war with and hopefully win a title. But Zion not reaching out at least or welcoming CJ to the city and team irked JJ. But, on the other hand, others lambasted Redick for his statements.
The other side of the coin
Was the criticism needed? Or should JJ Redick have let Zion and CJ solve any issues between them privately? It was reported that after McCollum’s interview, Williamson reached out to him, and the two talked together. So, it ended well for all parties involved. However, for one Twitter user, what Redick did was uncalled for.
“JJ Redick is a Duke guy, a CAA guy and someone with a personal grudge against David Griffin. For him to light Zion up as a bad teammate and not invested in the franchise or his career, is the most damning condemnation I can think of, short of a current teammate doing it.”
The 15-year veteran now works as a sports analyst for ESPN, and his statements get sensationalized for views and clicks. Redick spoke as someone who played a long time, and for him, it was just an unacceptable behavior from Zion.
It was a learning moment for the sophomore forward, making him a better teammate in the future. It might be in Zion's plan to reach out to CJ, but the interviews got out first. We’ll never know, but it’s nice to know that CJ and Zion have talked things over with a bit of help from JJ Redick.