Sat, Aug 23rd 2008, 15:22
Hey now, just wanted to give y’all a quick hello and update. I was up in Philadelphia for a few days this week spending time working out/bonding with my teammates. Jameer always puts on a good week of workouts and activities for everybody- we went bowling, went to a Phillies game, and played pick-up games. It was a lot of fun. When we were at the Phillies game we got to take some batting practice in their BP tunnel from some of their assistant coaches. These NBA guys have the most uncoordinated swings I’ve ever seen (i.e. Brian Cook, Courtney Lee, etc.). Rashard Lewis got some good whacks in but even his swing was subpar at best. A few of the Phillies guys commented that I had a natural swing- shoot, I played baseball for six years I hope I know how to swing. I wish I had video footage to show y’all- it was quite entertaining.
For the Magic fans out there who are interested in the pickup games, I’ll say that everyone looked to be in really good shape. The two guys that were most impressive to me were B Cook and Courtney Lee. B Cook is in good shape and was playing very aggressive on both ends of the floor. Courtney can really shoot the ball and he’s going to be a really good player in the league. I hadn’t played pickup since I left Duke a month ago so it was good to get some run and get buckets against live competition.
Right now I’m in London- my best friend from high school and I randomly decided to take the trip across the pond to go to the Arsenal vs Fulham game today. Fulham won in a huge upset. My boy Clint Dempsey got some run for Fulham at the end of the game so that was cool to see. Going to an English Premier League game has long been a dream of mine- and now I can cross that off my life’s “to-do list.” It’s amazing to watch the fan participation at a game like that- the whole game the fans are chanting/cheering/standing/yellling/cursing- it’s like they really feel that they are part of the game and you have to not only respect that, but you have to admire it as well. A lot of times in the States we take for granted professional athletics and only want to view a game as entertainment. But here, as in many European nations, the games are more than entertainment- sports are about pride and community. It was one of the coolest atmospheres I’ve ever been a part of.
One more quick thing about British people as a whole- apparently orthodontics are not a priority over here because 90% of the people here have as crooked of a smile as I do haha. Yes, the stereotypes are true- British people have crooked teeth.
Ok, I’ll check back in with you guys in a few days- look for a new Q and A early this week. Respect.
Wes Hoffmaster | on 3/9/08
I’m one of the many followers of your game. I’ve even studied all of ur games and your shot. I’ve tried so many times to learn how to shoot just like you. yea sounds funny considering your one of the best if not the best shooters i’ve ever seen. I was also wondering about that question about your shoes. Can i have a pair of them? haha funny. But one of my dreams is to meet you in life somewhere along the way. So hopefully some day i will get to enjoy that dream.
Chris Perron | on 31/8/08
Just checking your site to see if the Magic are really interested in you. I believe you have not been given enough of a chance to prove your ability to be a successful pro and teammate for the Magic. I was wondering of a trade, (almost hoping for it) so you could get some minutes on the court from a team that will respect your basketball ability.
Best of luck – and God’s speed
Jennifer | on 29/8/08
The season opener for Duke Football is coming up against JMU and Duke has been getting alot of press with the new football coach. What do you think are their chances of actually winning a couple of games this year?
Katie | on 27/8/08
Just wanted to show my support for you. Even though you play for the Magics now, I still feel like you’re gonna be on the tv playing for duke again every season. I’m from Durham and me and my best friend Sami had sleepovers for every duke game you played growing up in high school. We FINALLY met you when you threw your opening pitch at the Durham Bulls Game like 2 years ago….you have no idea how long we argued if we should interrupt you and say hi or not haha. but yea, just wanted you to know that you’re an inspiration in a lot of people’s lives and I love how you lift up God and seem so grateful for your talents.
Good luck with everything!
Paul P Mellon | on 27/8/08
I think J.J. was a benefactor of a great system w/ great supporting players pieced together by a master mind of college basketball.
Nothing against J.J. but a great outside shooter like him is actually hurt by playing in a program like Duke. Coach K recruits based on the needs of his program, not by who’s the most talented coming out of high school. So in Reddick’s case Coach K recruited one of the deadliest outside shooters in D-1 history and ran plays to get him open shots.
He never progressed while at Duke and now his weaknesses are blatently obvious at the NBA level.
While you can’t knock the program Coach K has established at Duke, Duke really doesn’t develope talent that will survive at the next level.
J.J. should have selected a different program if his dream was to play at the next level because he does have the talent, he was just never tested enough to push himself to get better.
Kelli | on 27/8/08
JJ, this may sound weird, but last night you were in this really weird dream of mine! anyways you are my favorite bball player! i love your blogs!
Kestrel | on 25/8/08
I’m glad to hear that your having a good time. I am a huge Phillies fan (phan) that is so cool that you got to go to BP. Clint Dempsey is going to get better and better and earn more playing time. I know your an Arsenal fan so sorry for they’re lose but Go Man U!!! keep it cool and stay classy peace and love kestrel
khandor | on 25/8/08
Please read the comments section in this link:
I am a Sports Consultant and this advice is free … but you should heed these recommendations.
As someone who has watched you play numerous times since you were first selected for a USA Basketball Age-group Team … I know for a fact that you have the capacity to succeed, in the NBA, in the ways I’m suggesting.
You are far too talented not to be playing regular minutes in the League.
All the best,
Catherine | on 24/8/08
Its great to hear from you again jj! i hope all your hard work will pay off greatly when the season starts!
C.J. | on 24/8/08
J.J., you never said how you did in the pickup games! I hope you’re coming off the bench for a good 10 mins or more this season. They’re going to need someone to step up and give us points off the bench. If Bogans can sit out in the corner and camp the three point line, so can you. Hey I e-mailed you awhile back, do you check your Duke e-mail still? Go check it if not. See ya!
Felix Weiss | on 24/8/08
HA! What do you know my friend went to see the same football match, he’s an avid Arsenal fan. Oh well. Also, im glad to say im in the 10% who have a straight smile =]
Evan | on 24/8/08
It’s true. Brits have bad teeth. Also Freddy Mercury too. You’d think the NBA guys would be good at baseball. Guess their too busy making 80 million dolllars playingt a different sport. But hey that sounds good too.
Fisher UK | on 24/8/08
JJ!!! Go easy on your english fans… you do have sum…
Yes some people do have slightly bad smiles over here but its not all of us!!!
Its like saying all Americans are fat!!!..i been to texas so i know it could be true!!
Anyways glad you enjoying the UK…. hope the NBA is paying you alot as the dollar to pound rate is not great!!
If you make it to the Midlands and Birmingham give me a shout!
Maggie | on 23/8/08
Hey, JJ! Ahh you were in Philidelphia? That’s probably like 2 hours from where I live! I could’ve come visited you…but I don’t think you would want me to haha. That’s cool that you got to hang out with your teammates. Bowling and a Phillies game sounds like a lot of fun (even though I’m not really a baseball fan at all). That’s cool you’re in London (even though I feel sad that we’re in different countries at the moment). I always thought it would be kinda cool to go to London. It’s probably cause I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan haha. But one of my goals in life is to go to Greece cause I’m half Greek. Well, it sounds like you’re having a really good time in London. School starts back up on Monday and I’m not too thrilled about that :( . Oh, and I finally saw the Dark Knight last week. OH my gosh, that was seriously like the best movie ever! It made it to my top 5 favorite movies ever. It was soo good. Anyway, I’m still DYING to see your braces! Could you please post a picture of them? Well, I hope to hear from you soon and I hope you’re doing amazing! I love you.
lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of LOVE,
nicole | on 23/8/08
your teeth are so not crooked!
diana | on 23/8/08
WOW! i have always wanted to go to london a couple of my friends and i are ging there in a couple of years, why didnt you come visit me while you were in philly i live a couple of hours away hahaha