- J.J. Redick has made the NBA playoffs in all 13 years of his career and will try to keep the streak going with the New Orleans Pelicans this season.
- Redick said after one of his first meetings with Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson, he gave the No. 1 pick a stern message: "Don't f— this up for me."
- Williamson confirmed Redick's message, saying he then asked Redick why he was pinning his hopes on a rookie.
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NBA veteran sharpshooter J.J. Redick left the Philadelphia 76ers for the New Orleans Pelicans this offseason, joining one of the NBA's youngest, but most intriguing teams.
Redick, 35, has made the NBA all 13 years of his career and will try to help an upstart Pelicans team built around No. 1 pick Zion Williamson make the leap right away.
Redick said from Pelicans media day on Monday that he gave Williamson a blunt message about this season after their first workout.
"My first real conversation with Zion was a couple weeks ago," Redick said. We got to chat for 20 minutes or so after one of the workouts, and at the end of it, I said, 'Look man, don't f— this up for me.'
Redick added that Zion, "got it."
Williamson confirmed the detail later to reporters, laughing about how serious Redick became.
"He had just given me some great advice, and the whole mood shifted," Williamson said. "He was like, 'I'm 13-for-13. Don't mess this up for me.'
"I'm like, 'J.J., why are you telling me? I'm a rookie.'"
Watch a clip of their answers below:
—SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 30, 2019
The Pelicans are likely long-shots to make the playoffs, but they boast one of the most interesting rosters in the league. After landing the No. 1 pick in the draft, they drafted Williamson, then traded Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers for a package of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and several draft picks. They signed Redick and big man Derrick Favors in free agency, adding two reliable veterans to surround the young core and guard Jrue Holiday.
If everything clicks right and the young players develop as many expect, Redick may be able to sustain his streak.