No one chases away hall of fame players quite like New Orleans. Is it the fact that they’ve never once been in the luxury tax (one of only two teams ever)? Is it the fact the Saints will always be ownership’s number one concern? Or maybe, the organization as a whole is just a bunch of buffoons, and star players realize quickly that their careers are far better off outside the bayou.
What happened in New Orleans this year was like the last season of Game Of Thrones. Started with great promise, some spectacular scenes, and ended in a fucking dumpster fire.
And the wild part is, this isn’t even Stan Van Gundy’s fault! Days before the season started they traded the heart of the team in Jrue Holiday, who took with him the last shred of defense. They gave him Eric Bledsoe in return, the same Bledsoe who missed an assignment against the Knicks in the final seconds that caused SVG to hammer his fists on the table in the post-game presses and declare that even high schoolers could get that play right.
But if it wasn’t Van Gundy that screwed the Pels going forward, who was it?
J.J. Redick, podcaster and NBA journeyman, and the torpedo that might have sunk the Pelicans ship once again.
Let’s hit the ol’ rewind button. Way back on March 31st, J.J. Redick took to his podcast to discuss his trade from the Pelicans to the Mavs. On a scale of 1 to Scorched Earth, Redick chose … violence. He went in on the Pels in a way a current player rarely has about an organization he’s been jettisoned from.
And here’s the thing. Redick isn’t a “star” player but he has two things that most NBA players do not. He has a megaphone (his podcast) and he has … BIG TIME agents. And he used both of them to DESTROY the Pels and their GM David Griffin as being liars and all around bad people.
Redick claimed the Pelicans lied to him multiple times, telling him he would be traded (to Brooklyn where his family was) and then not following through. But the core of what Redick said at the time is this:
“I don’t think you’re going to get honesty from that (New Orleans) front office … I just don’t think you’re gonna get that. I don’t think what happened with me is necessarily an isolated incident. It’s not something where I would expect certainly the agents who worked on this with me to ever trust that front office again.”
Why did I bold that last part? Guess? Go ahead.
Yep. Zion Williamson and J.J. Redick share the same agents.
Damn. I see a bad moon rising in New Orleans.
Just yesterday, the Athletic dropped a damning piece on the Pelicans 2020-2021 season in which the big lede got buried beneath the revelation of how many Pelicans players HATED playing for Van Gundy, including Zion. The article noted:
“Multiple sources have told The Athletic that certain family members want Williamson on another team” and that there is “thinly veiled unhappiness with the Pelicans, and [now] those feelings seeped into Zion’s own views.”
Pelicans fans must be having PTSD because guess what started the Anthony Davis trade demands? AD’s father.
The article implied that Zion doesn’t trust the organization. Wonder where that idea came from?
The Athletic reported:
“Redick was a veteran with whom Williamson had grown comfortable in their two seasons together, and the dysfunction Redick accused the Pelicans of harboring is said to have stoked some of Williamson’s own feelings with regards to the direction of the franchise.”
CAA, the biggest and most aggressive agency in sports, represents Zion (and Redick) and if you don’t think agents can drive a trade demand, you don’t know the NBA. Already pieces are dropping about how Griffin’s job is now in trouble, because that organization can’t lose Zion on top of AD and CP3.
All of this goes to show you that there are only two NBA guys you want no smoke with. One is Kwame Br … excuse me MISTER Kwame Brown. And the other is J.J. Redick.
Because no one is more dangerous than a scorned Brooklyn, hipster podcaster, and now Zion home games at MSG just became a real possibility.
We talk about the meltdown and issues in New Orleans, their head coach being fired, the NBA playoffs along with what's going on with Luka and the Mavs on this episode. Subscribe and rate on Spotify and Apple and if you prefer YouTube link is here as well: