Nick Wright JJ Redick Screen grab: What’s Wright? With Nick Wright

With Pat McAfee on vacation, many in sports media (but certainly not at this website) worried that there might not be much to cover this week. Fortunately, JJ Redick was willing to fill that void.

Making his long awaited return to First Take on Tuesday, the former NBA shooting guard wasted little time attracting attention to himself, calling out his former coach, Doc Rivers, who he’ll also replace on ESPN/ABC’s NBA Finals coverage. Redick’s comments fueled a day’s worth of headlines — during the NBA All-Star break, no less — with former Clippers players, including Rivers’ son and fellow ESPN analyst Austin Rivers, coming to the Milwaukee Bucks head coach’s defense.

On Wednesday, Redick was at it again, albeit in a much more meta way. During a discussion regarding Kevin Durant’s comments about the way he’s perceived, Redick took issue with Stephen A. Smith’s stance that the league’s stars have a responsibility to educate their fanbase and proceeded to use his comments regarding Rivers to question how much fans actually want to learn in the first place.

“I can do a video on my podcast where I break down the last nine games the Pelicans have used Zion Williamson as the primary ballhandler… 54,000 views on YouTube,” Redick said. “But I wanna call out a coach yesterday. Oh, that gets tens of millions of engagements. That’s the ecosystem we live in. So do fans actually want to be educated or not?”

Shortly after Redick made his comments, Fox Sports’ Nick Wright took to X (formerly Twitter) to seemingly respond.

“I totally understand folks who aren’t into televised sports discussion/debate. It’s not for everyone!” Wright wrote. “I will *never* understand someone who is incredibly wealthy, opts into working in the space, and then simply uses the platform to complain about how useless/dumb the space is.”

The First Things First co-host proceeded to post multiple analogies to further drive his point home, including one in which he likened sports debate to an Uno party and another in which he invoked Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

While Wright didn’t mention Redick by name, it was fairly easy to connect the dots considering the timing of the posts and that Wright has previously been critical of the former Duke star’s takes on the sports talk space.

“You call JJ Redick and he’s just going to talk about how all sports television shows suck and about how we just need to dissect what horns action is,” Wright told Dan Patrick in December.

It’s understandable why Wright would accuse Redick of wanting to have his cake and eat it too. If you’re going to appear on First Take — a show that Redick is very good on — then it’s tough to also complain about the content that you’re helping to create.

In this particular instance, however, it’s worth noting that Redick was responding to a specific point that Smith had made regarding Durant and was using the response to his comments regarding Rivers to illustrate his own point. So in essence, he was playing the game the way Wright believes it should be — not that there’s any one way to do sports debate.

[Nick Wright on X]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.