Fighting Words: Dominique Wilkins Calls Out J.J. Redick

ESPN broadcaster JJ Redick is facing the heat from NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins over comments he made comparing era's of basketball.

During First Take on Wednesday, Reddick told Chris "Mad Dog" Russo that today's NBA gameplay was harder for players and more physical.

(Shout out Stephen A. Smith for just sitting there for over 2 minutes, visibly frustrated and wondering if his connection's even working)


Redick began his take by claiming that Larry Bird was not one of the greatest 3-point shooters of all time. Russo immediately clapped back saying that he doesn't know what he's talking about and how for anyone who was alive in the 80's (Redick was born in 1984) they know just how dominant Bird was. Bird is widely considered one of the top 10 - perhaps even top 5 greatest basketball players of all time.

Redick then showed a little bit of ignorance by saying that the physicality of the game is harder these days, and bringing up Steph Curry as an example.

Curry is amazing, no doubt. But referees blow a whistle on EVERYTHING these days as we've seen time and time again. Russo wasn't having any of it - explaining that the shoving, hand-checks and more that were freely happening in the 80's was something that nobody deals with today.

The players may be faster, stronger and bigger in recent years - but they are also pampered to no end by referees.

It's also not the first time Redick has shown his ignorance of the game. A few months ago he made headlines after disparaging Hall of Famer Bob Cousy.


Step in NBA Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins.

The former Atlanta Hawks great responded to Redick's claims on SiriusXM NBA Radio on Tuesday and went as far as to call him an idiot!

“First of all, Redick don’t know what the hell he’s talking about,” Wilkins said. “I’m gonna say it right now, he doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. I’m like, what basketball was you watching? To say something as idiotic as that is ridiculous.

"The physicality that was a part of the league. Hey, look, when you can put your hand on a guy’s hip and make him go a certain way, and you can put your elbow in his chest a guy to slow him up there’s not that many guys that can deal with that type of pressure. For JJ Redick, who played this game, I’m very disappointed that he said something so stupid.”

Listen, normally I'm all about taking the younger, more modern day takes than the aging "boomers," but this is Dominique Wilkins we're talking about here. The guy knows basketball - the guy IS basketball. He's enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Meanwhile Reddick is known for being one of the most hated basketball players in Duke history, sans Christian Laettner.

The only thing I wish Russo didn't say was the free-throw comment. Although Curry absolutely crushes it at the line when he actually gets there, he's only averaging 5.4 attempts a game - definitely not "living at the line," as Mad Dog claimed.

I don't know about you, but I'll go with Wilkins all day - who probably could still run circles and defeat Reddick in a pick-up game.