Pelicans’ JJ Redick speaks out on the night the NBA was suspended: ‘We were all shook’
On his recent podcast, New Orleans Pelicans shooting guard JJ Redick talked about the night the NBA was suspended because of COVID-19.
The NBA suspended play after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronaviris. Redick and the Pelicans were scheduled to play the Sacramento Kings that night before that game was called as well:
“The other ESPN game was on in the locker room — all of a sudden it flips to whatever’s going on with OKC-Jazz, and there’s the byline of, you know, there’s a player quarantined or they’re testing a player,” JJ Redick said, as transcribed by SportsNet.“And then it comes out a few minutes later that it’s Rudy Gobert. He’s tested positive. I was standing next to our PR guy, Will, and within like three minutes, he had a memo from the league that the league had been suspended.”
Redick then revealed that they were told they would still need to play their game that night. He noted, however, that it was a “little surreal” for most of his Pelicans teammates given the shocking and sudden turn of events.
“We ended up at 38 [minutes to tipoff] having a normal meeting, Alvin [Gentry] said a few things, ‘Let’s go out and play.’ But you could tell like we were all a little… We were all shook, man. It was a weird feeling, for sure,” Redick added.
“We’re getting ready to go out finally to the hallway, to do our prayer, go out for warmups, and Aaron Nelson sprints through the locker room to try to find David Griffin. And that’s when we found out Courtney Kirkland had reffed the Jazz game. So, then we were having a conversation in the locker room like, you know, ‘I don’t think it’s safe to play.’ No one felt like it was safe to play.”
Since Gobert tested positive, the NBA population has unfortunately seen a number of positive tests. No one on the Pelicans has tested positive thus far.
Redick and the Pelicans went 28-36 before the season was shut down. The former Duke star is in his first season with New Orleans after spending the last two seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers.
In 54 games for the Pelicans this season, Redick is averaging 14.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.0 assists. He’s shooting 45.0 percent from the field, 45.2 percent from beyond the arc and 90.2 percent from the free-throw line.