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JJ Redick says he’s in decent cardiovascular shape — and recalls time of possibly getting frozen out by Carmelo Anthony in high school

Another winning episode of The JJ Redick podcast that also dives into the making of The Last Dance documentary featuring Michael Jordan

Denver Nuggets v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Outside of ESPN’s The Last Dance, there hasn’t been a more entertaining source of original content for sports-starved fans during this COVID-19 pandemic than episodes of The JJ Redick Podcast — especially for followers of the New Orleans Pelicans.

JJ Redick and Tommy Alter have hosted Zion Williamson, Jrue Holiday and Lonzo Ball since the calendar flipped to 2020, but they’ve also featured other great guests including Megan Rapinoe, Jimmy Butler and Kara Lawson. And as always, Redick is worth the listen alone, adding good personal insight and a solid mix of opinion.

On the latest episode, Jason Hehir, the director of The Last Dance, made a guest appearance, and he shares a keen perspective about different aspects of the documentary featuring Michael Jordan.

Too many don’t recognize just how fortunate the Chicago Bulls were to win six championships in eight years. Hehir not only goes into detail about how a coin flip determined the fate the 1984 NBA Draft, he also describes how his in-depth research sessions revealed the Bulls’ majestic dynasty run could have been derailed by something so small as a single play.

As we learned in episode 5 of The Last Dance, Charles Smith had a golden opportunity to propel the New York Knicks to a Game 5 victory and seize a 3-2 series lead in the 1993 Eastern Conference Finals. However, Smith missed four lay-in attempts and no fouls were called on any of those shots even though Hehir feels a whistle could have been blown.

A more unusual take: Michael Jordan may actually be an alien because of a perceived ability to see into the future. Hehir states that Jordan once alerted Hannah Storm and several other women to the fact that they were pregnant before they first knew themselves. That he canceled interviews a few times which were proceeded by large storms/hurricanes in Florida. Then the last time they met to work on this documentary project, Jordan told Hehir it would be the last time they would see each other — boom, the pandemic hits.

If believing in the supernatural is not your cup of tea, Redick offers plenty of other juicy material. He discusses the jock tax, which reportedly stemmed from the monetary successes enjoyed by Jordan, how Charles Barkley recommended it was in JJ’s best interest to learn the point guard position upon entering the league, and how he’s passing days in quarantine by catching up on disaster movies while sipping on wines from a handy cellar collection. While all of these topics made for good listens, I particularly enjoyed the following three stories a little more.

You best believe NBA players are aware of who is getting paid what

“That’s all anybody talks about,” Redick says. “Look, if there’s a guy on his rookie deal and he’s in his third or fourth year, he knows all of his comps. I can’t believe this guy got four {years} for 80 {million} — I’m going to go kick his ass.”

Redick points out that this is an inherent problem in pro team sports because there’s a hierarchy and a finite number of salary to split amongst an entire roster.

Melo froze out JJ in a high school all-star game

In response to Hehir talking about the likelihood of Jordan being frozen out in the 1985 All-Star game, Redick provides his own little story, albeit from when he was a senior in high school.

After scoring 26 points and walking away with the MVP from the McDonald’s All-American Game in New York City, JJ believes Carmelo Anthony froze him out in the next all star game, the Jordan Brand Classic in Washington D.C.

“What was told to me by two different guys on the team was that Melo was going around telling people JJ’s not getting the MVP again,” Redick says. “I’m taking every shot. If you look at the box score, I’m just saying. I’m just saying.”

Redick feels he’s in pretty good physical shape

“And it’s a guilty pleasure because not everybody has this, but I have access to a gym,” Redick says. “So this is week eight, I quarantined the first two weeks. So like the last six weeks, I’ve probably been in the gym every day but four days.”

Redick goes on to mention he has a small weight room in the basement of his real house (he’s staying in a temporarily residence as walls are getting painted), and he’s running hill sprints nearby.

“Like cardiovascular-wise, I feel like I’m in decent shape.”

Good news, but if you’re aware of Redick’s level of dedication and etched-in-stone habits, this is far from a surprise.