JJ Redick on First Take Photo credit: ESPN

The 2022-23 NBA season is more than one month old and we’ve yet to see JJ Redick command his post as First Take’s hot-take slayer.

But we have some good news for basketball fans who appreciate Redick’s willingness to question Stephen A. Smith or call Chris “Mad Dog” Russo out on some of his tired NBA takes, he’ll be back. Awful Announcing reached out to ESPN for comment, and they confirmed Redick will still be in the mix on First Take going forward, chalking his recent lack of appearances up to scheduling challenges.

During the summer, ESPN announced Redick would be joining Richard Jefferson and Ryan Ruocco as their No. 2 NBA broadcast team this season, with plans on eventually seeing the trio become their lead announcing crew. Redick’s expanded analyst role, along with his thriving podcast, The Old Man and the Three, has apparently made it harder to carve time for First Take, at least through the first month of the NBA season.

Since joining Stephen A. Smith’s rotating cast of contributors on First Take, the former NBA player has had a sort of love-hate relationship with the show. He’s questioned Smith’s basketball acumen, subtly accused Chris Russo of using offensive rhetoric, criticized Kendrick Perkins for spreading narratives of racial bias, and lamented the show’s choice of topics. But none of that occurred this season, because Redick hasn’t joined First Take in months.

Despite being critical of First Take at times, portraying the need to be their resident slayer of bad basketball takes, Redick has insisted he enjoys doing the show. During a media call last year, Redick referred to First Take as a “priority.” In his first deal with ESPN, the NBA analyst said he wanted to try a little bit of everything. But in his second deal, Redick acknowledged, “It was really a priority to do games and First Take.”

Currently, Redick is just doing games, albeit in a big way for ESPN as part of their No. 2 NBA broadcast crew. But according to ESPN, First Take appearances are still coming for Redick this season. And Chris Russo’s NBA takes await that pushback.

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to bcontes@thecomeback.com