Today we are featuring a contributor on "Straight from the Source" with NBA scribe Landon Buford stopping by to share a story about retired sharpshooting guard J.J. Reddick being courted by one of his former teams. The Philadelphia 76ers are now a new-look squad with the trade that brought in former MVP James Harden from Brooklyn, shipping out disgruntled star Ben Simmons. Here is the story...
After the 2020-21 season, Current ESPN analyst JJ Reddick, elected to retire from the NBA after 15 years in the league. After playing the end of last season with the Dallas Mavericks, he spent a lot of the season injured during his time in Dallas and New Orleans.
"I never could have imagined I would play basketball this long." Redick said on his podcast, 'The Old Man and the Three.' "Going into last season, I wanted it to be my last year, but I wasn't sure how it would play out. I would like to describe last season as a seven-month exercise in coming face to face with my own athletic mortality. It was difficult to accept. I have some clarity now, and I know it was time. It's time for me to be a dad. It's time for me to reflect, to pause, and it's time for me to get ready for the next phase of my life."
He added, "It was difficult for a number of reasons. Being injured, being away from my family, COVID protocols and really, truly not playing up to my standards.
Enter Anthony Pinto, who goes by the Twitter handle "War Room Philly", and recently tweeted... "Hey @jj_redick, just how retired are you these days? Asking for a friend." He proceeded to also tag Sixers star Joel Embiid on the tweet on the post.
Embiid is the front runner for this year's MVP, and it became clear he like that idea because he liked the tweet. Redick also liked that same tweet, raising the question...Could JJ come out of retirement to play with the Sixers again?
He played two seasons with an organization alongside Embiid before electing to sign with the New Orleans Pelicans during the 2019-20 season. If he decides to return to Philly, they could really use his shooting after trading Seth Curry along with Ben Simmons, Andre Drummond, and draft picks to Brooklyn in exchange for James Harden and Paul Millsap on February 10, 2022.
According to Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer, Kevin Durant did not want the Nets to trade Harden.
"KD didn't want to get rid of James." one person familiar with the two superstars said. "But he knew it was over."
However, a source with knowledge of the Nets inner-workings shared that he believed Kevin Durant did think James was not bringing anything to the team anymore, and thus gave the okay to trade him.
"Kevin was like, 'F--k it. James isn't bringing s--t to the team.", another figure with knowledge of Brooklyn added. "I don't think that would have happened without Kevin making that decision."
Meanwhile, Ben Simmons has not played for the Sixers organization since they were eliminated in game seven of last years playoffs. After a reporter asked Doc Rivers if he thought Ben Simmons could still be a point guard for a championship team, Rivers replied, "I don't know that question or the answer to that right now."
He would later appear on ESPN's First Take to clarify his comments and tell Stephen A. Smith they had "nothing to do with Ben."
Rivers added, "I can tell you upfront; we would love to get Ben back. And if we can, we are going to try to do that. I was basically saying, I'm not answering that crap." Rivers said. "Those questions....What disappointed me, and I do not do this media thing very often, It was being portrayed that I was out there saying I don't think we can win with Ben. And I actually do."
On Tuesday afternoon, both Simmons and Harden were introduced to the media for their new teams. During his press conference, Simmons shared, according to David Aldridge of The Athletic "It was a personal thing for me" which made him not want to play in Philly before being traded to Brooklyn. days ago
He also added that he's excited to play in Brooklyn's free-flowing offense, similar to that of his rookie season playing with JJ Redick, Ersan İlyasova, and Marco Belinelli.
"The way we were flowing and playing, that's the way I like to play." Simmons said.
As for Harden in his press conference, he shared that Philly was his first choice, but the Rockets elected to trade him to Brooklyn instead.
"Originally, when I was going through everything I was going through in Houston, Philly was my first choice." Harden shared. "I don't really want to get into the Brooklyn situation, but I just knew for a very long time that this here in Philly was a good fit. You have the best big man in the league in Joel (Embiid). Obviously, the coaching. Just from top-to-bottom, it made sense. I'm just happy and blessed that I'm here now."
We will see how the trade works out for all parties involved moving forward.