Jerry West Sounds Off On JJ Redick Over ‘Plumbers And Firemen’ Comments: “Tell Me What His Career Looks Like”

Photo Credit: REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Jerry West Sounds Off On JJ Redick Over ‘Plumbers And Firemen’ Comments: “Tell Me What His Career Looks Like”


In an episode of ESPN’s First Take earlier this April, former NBA shooting guard JJ Redick got into a debate with Chris ‘Mad Dog’ Russo about Bob Cousy’s all-time ranking as a point guard. When Russo mentioned that Cousy once dished out 29 assists, Redick was quick to downplay his competition, saying that Cousy was being guarded by plumbers and firemen.

While the quality of players has obviously improved over the years, many weren’t happy with Redick’s dismissive comments including Los Angeles Lakers legend Jerry West, who made his feelings known during his appearance on SiriusXM NBA Radio.

Although West acknowledged that today’s era and athletes are entirely different, West didn’t hesitate to defend their era while taking shots at Redick’s career on the process.


“Obviously, the game is completely different,” West said. “The athletes are completely different and I know JJ just a little bit. Very smart kid and everything. Tell me what his career looked like. What did he do that determined games? He averaged what, 12 points a game? Somewhere along the way, numbers count. At that point in time, the players aren’t what they used to be. JJ certainly wasn’t going to guard against the elite players and so you can nit-pick anyone.

“The only reason I am talking about him is because he was not an elite player. He was a very good player but he had a place on a team because of his ability to shoot the ball. My era, I was an athlete way before my time. I had a huge vertical, probably nobody in the league was much faster than me. And certainly, from the competitive part of it, I would put myself up against anybody who played the game. Today, also.”

“Winning is all that mattered. We didn’t have the facilities to get better, we had to work in the summers to support our family. JJ should be thankful he’s made as much money as he’s made and Bob Cousy, who I played against for a couple of years. I just think it’s very disrespectful.”


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