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JJ Redick has become a sports media superstar in recent months. The former NBA sharpshooter’s candidness and actual basketball IQ has made him a fan favorite on ESPN and a hero on the internet.

Redick recently discussed what ESPN has been like so far. And he gave an honest admission about the polarizing show, First Take, in which Stephen A. Smith has starred on for years.

He said he thought he would hate appearing on that particular show, but it’s actually the one he loves most.

JJ Redick thought he would hate ‘First Take’

JJ Redick has transitioned from the NBA into the sports media world with a bang. He has a fascinating podcast that features incredible guests. But he has also become a commentator for ESPN and has been using his basketball knowledge to educate viewers rather than provoke their emotions with outrageous hot takes.

Perhaps that’s why Redick thought he would hate going on a show like First Take. It’s known for people like the passionate Stephen A. Smith and its past star Skip Bayless, whose calling cards are to go on and say opinions so ridiculous that they can’t even believe them.

“For some reason, I thought that was going to be the show that I hated doing the most, and it’s actually my favorite show to do,” Redick said to former NBA player Tim Legler on a recent episode of his podcast, The Old Man and the Three. “The show is structured around a debate-style show. And when you (Legler) were on … that was one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had in media because we just got to talk about basketball for almost two hours. It was great.”

The former hoops star said ‘First Take’ allows for more organic conversations than other shows

Former NBA player and current ESPN commentator JJ Redick in 2022.
ESPN analyst JJ Redick looks on before a game between the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers on March 2, 2022. | Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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Tim Legler agreed that the format of First Take is tremendous. They actually have the time to discuss particular topics, unlike on a segment of SportsCenter in which they may only have a couple of minutes.

Redick added that the unpredictability of First Take is what makes it so great.

“You don’t know what’s gonna happen,” he said. “In all the other shows, you are so limited. And all of it is by time; let’s be very clear on that. You’re in a certain block. There’s three other people on a show with you. You might get 30 seconds on an answer; it may or may not come back to you. But there’s something that’s very organic about First Take.”

JJ Redick has had some unforgettable moments on the show. He has called out media hypocrisy and various other hot takes. And he recently slammed Chris Russo for talking about athletes the way Fox News talks about them.

But Redick swears he doesn’t go onto First Take intending to incite arguments. It just happens within the conversations.

“There’s been a couple times in the last couple weeks where people have texted me, ‘You woke up and chose violence today,’ and the reality is I did not wake up and choose violence. It just happened on the show,” he said.

Many former athletes and commentators chose to be entertainers while appearing on ESPN. JJ Redick, on the other hand, is just talking hoops, and that seems to be the main reason he enjoys First Take and why basketball fans love watching him on it.