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ESPN’s JJ Redick didn’t hold back when speaking about his former teammate, Zion Williamson

JJ Redick is letting his presence be felt around ESPN and is quickly becoming a fan favorite for always fearlessly checking Stephen A. Smith and keeping it real. During a Tuesday taping of First Take, Redick kept that energy going, this time directing that realness towards New Orleans Pelicans disgruntled phenom, Zion Williamson.

During the segment, Redick kept it all way real about the currently sidelined superstar, not for his effort on the court, but for not making it his business to reach out to recently acquired wingman CJ McCollum. In an interview following being traded to the Pelicans from the Trail Blazers, McCollum revealed during an interview on TNT during NBA All-Star Weekend that he didn’t hear from Zion Williamson. As of Tuesday (Feb.22), ESPN’s Malika Andrews, McCollum said Williamson has spoken to him.

Williamson’s promising NBA career has been paused due to numerous setbacks as he rehabs from foot surgery. It is being reported that Williamson has been recovering away from the Pelicans in Portland. Redick ripped Williamson for not making it his business to speak with his new teammate, calling the whole situation “insane.”

“This is a little bit insane to me. There’s a general decorum of behavior that you should apply as a teammate,” Redick stated. “I wasn’t the best player on any team I was on, but if there was a buyout possibility, a trade possibility, I would always reach out to teammates. This just shows a complete lack of investment in your team, in the organization in the city. I get that he’s [Zion] 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.”

The now-retired 15-year veteran also revealed that Williamson’s current behavior isn’t surprising to him because he experienced it during his stint with the New Orleans Pelicans.

“This is a pattern of behavior with Zion that we are seeing again and again,” Redick said. “I was his teammate. I can describe him as a detached teammate. That is an accurate statement. This is basic level of humanity being a teammate. Send a text to a guy when he gets traded to your team. That is just normal behavior. That’s the bare minimum that you have to do. And the Pelicans yesterday sent out an email for season tickets for next year, and guess whose name was not in the email? Zion’s. What the heck is going on in New Orleans?”


Redick going off on Williamson like this is alarming because they are both repped by the same agency, CAA, and are Duke University alum.

Sports Twitter was also pretty shocked by Redick speaking his mind on Williamson’s behavior. You can peep some of the reactions in the gallery below.

Photo: Jonathan Bachman / Getty

1. Yikes.

2. Facts

3. Word

4. He sure didn’t.

5. Hmmmmmm