But before Redick was willing to give his answer, the former NBA shooting guard wanted ESPN to update their chyron. The bottom graphic said, “Most Important Player in this Series?” but the question posed to Redick by Molly Qerim was, “who is the x-factor for the NBA Finals?”
“I want to be clear to what I’m answering right here,” Redick said. “Because I know you guys have down there, ‘most important player,’ but now the question is ‘x-factor.’ So I just want to be clear because I know how stuff gets broken out on social media.”
JJ Redick seems more concerned about being misquoted than Stephen A. Smith is pic.twitter.com/dKzwr1kcG2
— Brandon Contes (@BrandonContes) May 31, 2022
Smith and Perkins rolled their eyes at Redick for needing clarification, both asking the former NBA guard if he’s worried about social media’s reaction.
“People lack critical listening skills, Stephen A.,” Redick explained. “And I just want to be clear about what I’m answering.”
Still confused as to what he was so concerned about, Smith implored Redick to look at him. “Don’t you understand? That the bottom of the screen and Molly can be EMBLAZONED to the public, and they would still misquote you…He’s gonna be misquoted, every day. They’re gonna take a sentence, they’re gonna peel a sentence away from it and they’re gonna just illuminate that on the headlines just for clickbait.”
Spoken like sports media’s premier creator of clickbait, a title Stephen A. Smith should probably share with Skip Bayless.
“I know I’m gonna be misquoted,” Redick explained. “I just want to be misquoted on the right question.”
Since joining First Take as a regular contributor earlier this year, Redick has frequently gone viral for his opinions and willingness to go toe-to-toe with Smith. And in Redick’s defense, if a 30-second clip of him praising Marcus Smart was shared on social media, paired with the chyron “Most Important Player In This Series?” Redick would have had to deal with thousands of tweets ripping him for thinking Marcus Smart was more important than Jayson Tatum or Steph Curry.
The headlines wouldn’t have necessarily misquoted Redick, but they may have misrepresented his quote. While Redick is clearly concerned with social media’s reaction to his takes, he seemed more upset with First Take’s producers for putting one question on the chyron, while verbalizing something different to him on the show.
Redick’s apparent gripe with show producers comes just two weeks after he criticized the nature of First Take for forcing him to answer ridiculous questions.