If you are Duke’s all-time leading scorer, you automatically get defined as a guy with a pretty game, a pretty shot. And JJ Redick’s jumper can be a thing of beauty.
That and $3 will get you a cup of coffee in the NBA. Defenders like Shane Battier or Matt Barnes or Trevor Ariza care not for your pretty shot — they are there to shut you down. To disrupt. And if you’re going to stick you’re going to have to work through it.
It wasn’t fast or easy, but JJ Redick made the transition from pretty boy to grinder, and admitted as much to SLAM.
I think there is 420-450 jobs available and there is probably twice that many players who can play in the NBA. So the guys who stick with it find good situations and really work. There are guys Like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwight Howard that are naturally unbelievable. But for a lot of guys, you have to set yourself apart by your work ethic and what you can contribute.
Redick’s role is that of shooter — he’s hitting 39.4% from three. But he’s hitting other shots and getting to the line, too. His true shooting percentage (think of it as points per shot attempt and counts everything) is 60 percent, well above the league average of 52 percent. He gets more than two assists for every turnover. He’s no defensive stopper, but he’s serviceable.
He’s a grinder, a guy who busted his ass to get his game to the NBA level. He can do one thing very well, and he is passable at others. He found a niche and made sure his game fit it. He gets he’s not LeBron, but he knows how to be a complimentary player to guys like that.
And that is what 95% of the NBA is. Grinders. Guys with some skills who outworked the other guys with skills to make it. Good on Redick for being one of them.