Jerry West is one of the most respected figures around the league, and when he speaks, people listen. West enjoyed a stellar playing career during which he averaged 27 points per game while winning a championship, and he has been arguably the greatest executive the league has ever seen.
“The Logo” was recently on SiriusXM NBA Radio, where he spoke on why Kevin Durant won’t be traded, and he was also asked about the comments JJ Redick had made in the past about the era he played in. Redick was defending his former teammate Chris Paul on a segment of ‘First Take’ on ESPN when he took a shot at Bob Cousy by claiming he played against plumbers and firemen. The Celtics legend fired back at Redick later, and West also had a lot to say about that.
“Obviously, the game is completely different. The athletes are completely different. I know JJ just a little bit, a very smart kid and everything. But tell me what his career looked like. What did he do that determined games? He averaged 12 points a game in the league.”
“Somewhere along the way, numbers count. At that point in time, the players aren’t what they used to be. JJ certainly wasn’t gonna guard the elite players. And so you can nitpick anyone and the only reason I’m talking about him is because he wasn’t an elite player. He was a very good player. But he had a place on a team because of his ability to shoot the ball.”
Massive shots were fired right there by West as he clearly took offense, as would any other player from that era. It will be interesting to see if Redick responds to these comments as West’s words carry a lot of weight.
JJ was just defending Paul back then and probably got a bit carried away. Athletes now are obviously much better than the ones back then because of evolution and advancements in science over the years, but the ones who set the stage for where the game is now, deserve more respect than what Redick gave them there.