If the road to success traverses preparation, hard work and getting back up every time you fall, then J.J. Redick has, not only traveled that road, he has become its ambassador.
A shooting guard for the Los Angeles Clipper, he has been in the NBA since 2006. He was selected 11th overall by the Orlando Magic in that year’s draft and seven years later was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks. Less than five months after the trade he was acquired by the Los Angeles Clippers.
After a full decade as an NBA professional, he has become a more effective player with a nightly 16.4 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.4 assists. This has been accomplished by increasing expectations for himself and striving to exceed his output during each game.
His high standards and ever increasing expectation of himself date back to his time as a young Duke player, particularly, the 2004 national semifinals loss to Connecticut. Having been briefly unable control the ball while driving into the key, he felt he had failed to meet the team’s expectations. It was a piercing blow which left him mentally and emotionally disheveled. He committed himself to a strict summer plan and got in as good a shape as he had ever been. Since then, it has been his philosophy to ensure his well-being off the court and work on his game.
During the off season, he exercises six days a week. He speeds across the perimeter making 280 spot-up points, one half two-pointers and and the other three-pointers. 20 shots he makes, consecutively, from seven different positions on the court. That is followed by 42 pull-up dribbling jumpers, one half to the right and the other to the left. Including 20 free throws, the routine totals 342 makes. Without excuse, he expects to shoot 80 to 90 percent.
Redick takes advantage of every opportunity in order to improve himself. When he played for Orlando Magic he would arrive early to practice a diversity of shots, doing so as if he were in an actual game. These shots include floaters, pull-ups and step-backs. To increase endurance and develop explosiveness, a six in the morning arrival at the Jones High School Orlando track had him completing his own sprints 60 minutes before the rest of the team arrived.
The current director of sports medicine for the NBA Player Association, Joe Rogowski, who was also its head coach of strength and conditioning states that the team had to complete a three-minute, full-court sprint drill while it was on the court, which rewarded the highest amount of baseline touches. In order to excel, Redick determined the amount of steps he would need to accomplish each drill. He is now the record holder with 29 touches.
So solid is his determination to push himself to do better, that he would run against the clock if there wasn’t anyone else running against him.
He might not have yet received the credit he deserves, but he is most certainly invaluable to any team for which he plays. He continues to push himself to be better in order to help his team, focusing on the quality of his work rather than its quantity. For him, it is not about making the most shots per day; it is about keeping up with the game and getting reps up with every shot. Kings floor general and former Clippers teammate says that he does not think Redick gets the commendations he deserves, while Clippers coach Doc Rivers has expressed that he is a tremendous defense player and that those are very much needed.