The former Duke star is in his ninth season in the NBA and second with the Clippers, for whom he hit a career-high 45.5% from the floor last season, while averaging 15.2 points and 28.2 minutes per game.
DAN PATRICK:Would you rather win the dunk contest or the three-point shooting contest?
J.J. REDICK: The dunk contest for sure. I've got some tricks—even though I'm 30 and not that athletic.
DP:When's the last time you dunked in a game?
JR: 2011, I think.
DP:Did you dunk at Duke?
JR: I had a couple. They were less than emphatic.
DP:Could you have married someone from the University of North Carolina?
JR: Every time I ventured over to Chapel Hill, it ended with a mob chasing me through the parking lot. When you get a shoe thrown at your car as you're leaving, you're probably not going to come back.
DP:Are you still rapping?
JR: No, I gave up on that dream about six years ago. When I was in college I wrote lyrics and poems. I'm not very musically inclined, and my poems were not well-received by the critics and the masses.
DP:It was just another reason for other ACC schools to hate you.
JR: Exactly. As you get old, you mature a little bit and realize what you're good at and what you're not good at. You gotta stay in your lane.
DP:Who are your top three rappers?
JR: Eminem, Nas and my favorite of all time, Tupac.
DP:Have you spent any time with owner Steve Ballmer?
JR: I have. He came to one of our preseason games and acted like it was Game 7 of the Finals. He's got one voice level, and it's loud. I love him. He's full of energy. He's just a great guy.
DP:Can you talk me out of picking the Spurs in the West?
JR: No, I can't. Everyone tries to talk themselves out of the Spurs every year. As long as they're healthy, they're the favorites. To assume we're going to automatically take the next step, that's naive on our part.
DP:Could you outjump Kobe Bryant right now?
JR: I'm not going to doubt Kobe in anything. Let's see what he does with a full season. Hopefully he stays healthy. He's one of the greatest competitors and talents we've ever seen. I'd love to see someone give Father Time a run for his money.
DP:Has Kobe ever yelled at you?
JR: Oh, yeah. We played him in the Finals [when I was with Orlando in '09]. I had the pleasure of guarding him a little in that series.
DP:What did he say to you?
JR: In essence, You can't guard me. At the time I could not. I don't know if that's trash-talking or truth-telling. More truth-telling.
Cubs president Theo Epstein told me that day games at Wrigley Field have their advantages. "When visiting teams come here, they're looking forward to being in Chicago," Epstein said. "They're probably staying out later than our guys." ... I asked Metta World Peace, who is currently playing in China, if he'd rather return to the Lakers or to the Knicks. "I'd rather play in Angola," World Peace said. "[Or] stay in China. I [don't] have to guard LeBron [James] or Kevin Durant." ... High-wire walker Nik Wallenda told me he doesn't view his profession as especially dangerous. "I realize I'm risking my life," Wallenda said. "Everybody takes risks in life, whether we're getting on an airplane or walking across the street. We don't see it that way. That's wire-walking to my family."
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (PATRICK)
ROBERT BECK/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (REDICK)
DAVID BANKS/AP (EPSTEIN)
CHINAFOTOPRESS/GETTY IMAGES (WORLD PEACE)
CHARLES REX ARBOGAST/AP (WALLENDA)