July 15, 2024

JJ Redick’s transition from a media figure to head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers continues to stir up controversy. Recently, Halleemah Nash, a UNC graduate, tweeted: “I’ve only been called the N-word to my face by a white man once in my life, and it was on the campus of Duke University while I was working with the basketball team. Today, he was named the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. What a world.”

None of us witnessed the event, and often such allegations boil down to personal beliefs or biases. It’s human nature.

However, here’s our perspective.

During JJ’s time at Duke, we exchanged emails with his father, a respectable man upset by how his son was treated in the ACC.

We later discovered that the Redick family, who are semi-hippy and artistic, lived somewhat distanced from mainstream society. They are far from being stereotypical rednecks or white trash.

We can’t imagine such behavior being acceptable in the Redick household. Additionally, Mike Krzyzewski, Duke’s coach at the time, likely wouldn’t have tolerated it either. The harshest comment we heard about Redick from a Duke player was Jon Scheyer noting that Redick “wasn’t very nice” when hosting him on a visit.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers-Press Conference

We’ve never heard any NBA coach or teammate accuse Redick of similar behavior. LeBron James, who co-hosted a podcast with Redick, seems to respect him, as do many NBA players who have appeared on Redick’s podcasts.

For the past 24 years since 2002, Redick has built a reputation that contrasts sharply with Nash’s claims.

While we can’t definitively say whether this incident occurred, it’s important to note there isn’t a pattern of such behavior from Redick. Such allegations are challenging to prove after so many years.

There are valid reasons why people may not speak out immediately, but generally, it’s more credible when they do so.

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