Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
NEW YORK — J.J. Redick is aware of the widespread perceptions of white basketball players.
They are generally described as slower, less athletic and less “talented” than their African-American counterparts.
“I don’t buy into all that,” he said after scoring 7 points in the Magic’s 114-102 victory Sunday over the Knicks at MSG. “There’s perceptions, obviously, if you’re a white player. I think you just deal with it from the time you’re 8 on. It’s second nature, you don’t think about it.
“There’s a perception, who cares? Let’s move on.”
Redick played for Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who was told by a reporter after Friday’s win here against UConn that ESPN announcer Doug Gottlieb had called his team — which starts three white players — “alarmingly unathletic.”
“I don’t think they really care what Doug Gottlieb says, to be honest with you,” Redick said.
When told of the comments after Friday’s win, Coach K said: “He [Gottlieb] should be an expert on alarmingly non-athletic. So I’ll have to take a look at that a little bit closer because it comes from an expert who actually knows what it feels like to be alarmingly non-athletic.
“Actually, we’re pretty athletic; we’re just not as athletic as UConn. [Kyle] Singler is a really good athlete…But I wouldn’t call us like this athletic team, but we’re not amazingly non-athletic. And I would rather not get into a discussion with Doug because I have respect of his stature and he should have his arguments with people of similar stature. That would be a good thing.”
Duke point guard Jon Scheyer said that Duke is considered “unathletic” because it features several white players.
“Without saying too much I think that’s a possibility,” he said. “I think there’s definitely a thought of that. We have some really athletic [white] guys like Miles and Mason [Plumlee], for example, and I don’t really hear people talking about them being great athletes. So I don’t know what that means. But I do know that.”
Redick added that the Plumlee brothers and Singler are all pretty athletic.
“I think Kyle Singler’s a pretty good athlete,” Redick said. “I’ve seen some dunk mix tapes of Mason and Miles, they look pretty athletic to me.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.