JJ Redick - The Old Man and the Three

One way for JJ Redick to ensure he’ll keep being aggregated by aggregate media outlets is to repeatedly blast the aggregate media.

Last week, Redick was on First Take with Stephen A. Smith and Michael Wilbon to talk about LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and the Los Angeles Lakers. Already sick of talking about the Los Angeles Lakers on First Take just one game into their NBA season, Redick suggested using this year to celebrate James rather than continue to dwell on the team’s shortcomings.

Redick’s First Take take was widely aggregated and when it got to Fox Sports Radio host and Deadspin columnist Rob Parker, he labeled it “the worst take in sports history.” On the latest episode of The Old Man and the Three podcast with co-host Tommy Alter, Redick railed against Parker’s assessment and swung his sword at the entire aggregate media industry.

“Last thing I want to talk about is the worst take ever in sports history, which apparently I had last week,” Redick said. “I’ll vehemently disagree. One of the problems with aggregate media is a quote everybody uses out of context. A quote out of context that people read as a headline and in this case it was our old friends at ClutchPoints, which is the worst website, aggregate sports media — I don’t know what to call them. Are they a site? They’re certainly not creators but they’re the worst sports media aggregators in the world.”

Redick proceeded to replay small clips from his First Take segment to prove there was more to the conversation than just declaring this Lakers season a celebration of LeBron James.

“If you actually took the time to watch the 12 or 13 minutes we talked about the Lakers, it was actually a nuanced, intelligent discussion that we gave,” Redick explained.

“As sort of a — not a dig — at the producers on ESPN, but look, we spent all of last year talking about what ills the Lakers,” Redick continued. “Why are the Lakers so bad? It’s the same f*cking reason! It’s the same f*cking reason this year, and I don’t want to spend the entire season talking about it! So I noted, if you’re a Lakers fan, if you’re a producer of the show, let’s not spend the entire season talking about the same f*cking thing over and over! Here’s an idea, here’s a silver lining for your Lakers fans out there, Lebron’s going to be in a Lakers uniform when he breaks Kareem’s record. And all the sudden that turned into ‘the worst take in sports history’? How lazy are you?”

The irony of Redick’s gripe with aggregate media is that First Take’s content is aggregated from something and then ESPN aggregates that aggregated content.

Yes, during the First Take segment in question, there was a larger conversation about James and the Lakers which was filled with critical analysis. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that Redick did call for a celebration of James’ career. And while Redick points to ClutchPoints as being “the worst sports media aggregators in the world,” blaming them for taking a clip out of context, the NBA analyst should be placing equal blame on his employer.

ESPN saw the full First Take segment and chose to cut it down to a two-minute clip for social media with the caption “JJ Redick: The Lakers’ season should be about LeBron’s individual greatness.”

If that’s how ESPN assessed the segment, why is it all on the big bad aggregate media for running with that headline? Is it the aggregate media’s fault that Redick is sick of talking about LeBron James and the Lakers? Clearly, Stephen A. Smith and the show’s producers believe James and the Lakers are a surefire way to garner attention, otherwise they would have already given up on building segments around the 37-year-old NBA superstar. They also know takes about LeBron James are a surefire way to get aggregated, which they want.

Aggregate media needs ESPN, but let’s not act like ESPN, First Take, The Old Man and the Three, and all sports media doesn’t also benefit from aggregators. Consumers certainly benefit from aggregate media serving as a “here’s what you may have missed” tool for sports fans. There are so many, too many sports shows and podcasts, some of us aggregators are here to filter through and highlight the most interesting content that would have otherwise stayed buried.

[The Old Man and the Three]

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