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After recording 40 episodes last year for Yahoo!'s The Vertical, newly signed Sixers guard JJ Redick has now joined UNINTERRUPTED, a media project started by LeBron James and business partner Maverick Carter that has already gotten contributions from star athletes like Serena Williams, Draymond Green and Rob Gronkowski. But Redick is the first athlete on the site to be the sole host of their own show and The Chronicles of Redick's first episode, featuring a pair of interviews with Carter and Sixers president Bryan Colangelo, dropped Wednesday morning.
Together, Redick and Colangelo discussed the fast-paced process that ultimately led to the team inking the former Duke standout to a one-year, $23 million contract on the first day of this season's free agency period.
"I'm flying to L.A. thinking I've got a meeting setup at 1 p.m., I've got one at 3:30 p.m. and I've got one at 5:30 p.m. - all with people in mind who I was hoping to secure one-year commitments from," Colangelo said in the episode. "There was one other individual that I'll leave nameless for now that I was hoping to convince on a very large deal that had about the same dollar value as we did with you. So when I got off the plane, I had been texting a little bit with Greg (Redick's agent) on the plane and he said call me when you land.
"I'm in a car and I'm driving to Beverly Hills to stay at the Montage hotel and my meeting's set up for 1 p.m, and it's literally about 12:05 at this time. We're having a general conversation and I'm explaining to him why it's important about the one-year and he's pushing back, obviously, per your instructions. We're going back and forth, I'm moving the dialogue and at the end of the day, I said, 'Look, Greg, I know you want as much time as possible here and I know you want to go forward with respect to the deal, but I've got a discussion that's beginning at 1:00 p.m. today and I'm going to throw that same kind of offer on the table. And I have no idea what the offer's going to be, but if the answer is yes without an answer from you, I may be inclined to move in that direction.'
"In a span of nine hours, I left my office, I put my head on my pillow for two hours, I fly to Los Angeles, I get in a car and I make a deal with Greg in the car on the way to this meeting. That's how quickly things can turn."
For Redick, after playing 11 seasons for three different NBA teams, he desperately wanted the security of a long-term deal. Now at age 33, it's not a guarantee that the 11th overall pick in 2006 NBA Draft will get another shot at a big-time payday.
But ultimately, it came down to Redick making a decision that would both give him a chance to earn the money he wanted and potentially play for a title in the near future.
Still, that choice wasn't an easy one.
"There was one moment where I didn't allow the cameras (for UNINTERRUPTED's documentary on his free-agent process) and I wandered out to Brooklyn Bridge Park," Redick said. It was at the point in time where I was like, 'Man, I'm not gonna get years.'
"And you have to understand something, for basically 14 months since last season ended, I've envisioned this contract, and the contract wasn't about the second number. It wasn't about 50 or 60 or 70 or 80. It wasn't about that. It was about that first number - three or four [years]."
And as Redick discussed with CSNPhilly.com's Jessica Camerato following his introductory press conference in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago, Colangelo hinted that this season may very well be a jumping-off point in a long-term relationship between the Sixers and the veteran sharpshooter.
"The advent of this process - everyone refers to it as a process - I think life is a process, so it's pretty easy to apply it to every aspect of your life," Colangelo said. "But in this particular case, they did really break things down to a point where there was a lot of pain and suffering and you know, I raced out into free agency and signed a number of long-term commitments to players that were good enough to help us win, but not good enough to help us achieve those longer-term results, which we aspire to win championships.
"It just was incredibly important to the organization that we were diligent and prudent in our spending. We took steps and this is a measured step. ... This is a one-year contract, but I don't view it as a one-year relationship. This is a situation where if you come in and deliver on what we expect and if we deliver for you what you expect, there's no reason why we can't move forward in some form or fashion."
In the hour-long episode, Redick dropped several interesting insights on the process of going through NBA free agency and Colangelo - in about a 15-minute segment beginning around the 46-minute mark of the show - talked about why the Sixers were willing to pay a premium for Redick as well as the impact his signing had on the rest of free agency. Here are a couple of notable quotes:
Redick on having no idea where he'd wind up:
"I knew with about 10 days to go until free agency that it was going to be a vastly different market than it was a year ago ... There were a couple of teams I had sort of hoped and wanted to work something out with, and you know how the NBA works, man. There's all these back-channel communications. It got back to me what the other teams were thinking and it wasn't really the terms that I necessarily wanted, so I knew basically 10 days out I was like, 'Alright, for the third time being a free agent, I'm going to go into July 1 having really no idea what's going to happen.' Maybe that's prevalent across the league - it probably is, I think the majority of players don't know."
Colangelo on the Sixers' goals for this offseason:
"When it comes to putting your team together year after year, there's long-term strategy and there's short-term strategy. This team has obviously been in a long-term rebuilding process, but when I came on about a year ago, it was all about building - forget the word rebuilding, it's now building it up. We really set out to do a few things over the last year that culminated in preparing for the draft and free agency with three primary objectives in mind. I think first of all, we wanted to enhance and nurture the development of the core players - we've got some young core guys that have gotten an opportunity to play significant minutes and some of whom have played none ... The second concept was promoting the idea of winning. Bringing in some talent, critical elements like experience, leadership, skill set, things like you represent and that's why we targeted you and made a point of emphasis of trying to get something with you done. And then third, it's critical for the team in our situation to maintain flexibility for the future."
If you want to listen to the whole podcast, click here.