Thursday, April 17, 2008

J.J. Redick...Cheered?

It's been a long time since I attended an Orlando Magic game. Needless to say, last night was the first time that I got to see J.J. Redick take the court for the Magic since he entered the NBA. I know some people weren't thrilled when Orlando selected him with the 11th overall pick in the 2006 NBA Draft. A few of them might have even been in New York, and booed the selection firsthand.

JJ Redick Drafted by Magic!

Now, those boos weren't surprising to me. I had heard Redick get some pretty tough treatment by opposing fans on numerous occasions. By the time he became the ACC's career leading scorer he had fostered a pretty good love-hate relationship with many of the people that watched him outside the confines of Cameron Indoor Stadium. For the most part, I always shared the feeling that The Mighty MJD did, that when you're the best player at a school as hated as Duke you're going to catch a lot of heat. Pretty much all of it is going to be misguided, but it's still going to happen and how you handle it on and off the court will be the true test. I always thought Redick handled it fairly well, though that didn't keep me from getting caught offguard a bit by the cheers he received during last night's game.

That's right, J.J. Redick, at one point the posterboy of douchiness for college basketball fans everywhere, was receiving praise somewhere other than on the campus of Duke University. Like I said, this is the first time that I've been to a Magic game with Redick on the roster so it may have been this way since day one. However, I had grown accustomed to hearing a chorus of boos whenever he had a night like last night, 18 points on 7-14 shooting and 4-8 from three point range. It was a little strange at first, but eventually I was even rooting for him to knock down his shots. And at one point, I probably contributed to the hating on him. Sometimes it's weird how things end up playing out.

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