On today's Pardon My Take, Mr. Cat and Mr. Commenter welcomed on JJ Redick of the New Orleans Pelicans to talk the NBA Bubble, his new podcast, his time at Duke, and more. The guys also got into it about Zion Williamson and what his impact on the team and league has been. This led to Mr. Cat asking about what plenty of people have been thinking: how badly does the NBA want Zion and Pelicans in the playoffs?
JJ Redick: If we win out, we are going to be in the play-in game.
Mr. Cat: And that is credit to Zion. Did the NBA give you a memo or a wink, like, "Hey, we're building all these rules just to have Zion in the playoffs." Which, we've said, we're totally cool with, because we want Zion in the playoffs. So, we're cool with everything they've done, but it felt like it was all built for the Pelicans and Zion to get into the playoffs.
JJ Redick: I would agree with that. Maybe not all of it, but certainly a large portion of having these play-in games and seeding games was for Zion, yeah, that's true. I mean, it's a superstar league. This is why we watch basketball, we watch basketball obviously for team greatness, but mostly for individual greatness. We watch basketball so we can talk about James Harden, or talk about Giannis, or talk about LeBron, or Zion in this case. That's why people love the NBA. In some ways, we've commodified this into an individual sport, which is sometimes frustrating, I think.
JJ Redick: Not necessarily "I'm frustrated with Zion." It becomes frustrating for me to think about the average fan and how they view the NBA because, to me, basketball is the ultimate team sport. Maybe soccer is the other one, but those two, are the two.
JJ said it during the show: if the Pelicans can figure out a way to win the rest of their seeding games, they'll control their own destiny to getting into the playoffs. It may seem like the NBA wants it, but I think most of us would love to see him going at it int he postseason as well.