Amin Elhassan JJ Redick Dan Le Batard Show Screen grab: The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz

JJ Redick’s return to First Take this week created quite the stir.

Not just because of his comments about Doc Rivers, but also due to his general approach to the sports talk space. While most people sitting opposite Stephen A. Smith have no choice but to embrace debate, Redick often refuses to play along, declining to discuss hypotheticals while bemoaning that his breakdowns of the New Orleans Pelicans’ offense don’t attract as much attention as his comments about Rivers did.

During Thursday’s episode of The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, the show’s namesake praised Redick for remaining just as polarizing as a broadcaster as he was as a player.

“To be now in his 40s, the dude that he was as a player,” Le Batard said. “Which is he’s going on First Take and he’s insulting everybody by saying, ‘This is beneath me. Thank you for the platform. I’ll use it for the moment. But I’m going to show you how I don’t agree with how you guys do television. You guys are doing this dumber than I want to do it.'”

Amin Elhassan, however, accused the former NBA shooting guard of wanting to have his cake and eat it too.

“Having said that, he does this s**t all the time,” the Oddball host said. “Remember when he said guys in the 80s played against plumbers and electricians? He said that on First Take. This isn’t the first time JJ Redick has said some out of pocket just Neanderthal sports take. So stop acting like you’re above it, JJ. Because you do that s**t too.”

Redick’s comment was actually about players in the 60s — Bob Cousy to be specific. But despite the mix-up and his very wrinkled shirt, Elhassan’s point stands.

As much as Redick might want to act like sports debate is beneath him at times, he’s also an active participant in the format he seemingly despises. As Nick Wright pointed out with his thinly veiled subtweets regarding Redick, there’s nothing wrong with not liking sports talk. But if you’re going to take part in it, you better be willing to play the game.

Conversely, one could argue that by acting like he’s above the very format he’s participating in, the former Duke star is playing the game. After all, if the point of television is to attract attention to your show, then you’d be hard pressed to find someone who has done a better job of that this week than Redick has.

[The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz]

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.