LOS ANGELES--It probably would be a mistake to view J.J. Redick as passive on the court.
Redick may not talk trash, but he won't shy from confrontation. Redick may not throw the first blow, but he won't tolerate being pushed around. Redick may not beat his chest after knocking down another shot, but he won't just ease back down the court if the moment calls for a little celebration.
So don't let Redick's 6-4, 190-pound frame fool you.
And that's something Clippers fans will get to know about their new shooting guard.
"I'm a little bit competitive," Redick said after a recent training camp practice on the campus of UC San Diego. "I'm a little bit feisty on the court -- on both the opposition and the referees. I'm just a competitive person. I get emotional. But I'm going to play hard."
Of course, Clippers Coach Doc Rivers went after Redick during free agency in July because he's known throughout the NBA as a knock-down shooter with range.
But there was this toughness Rivers saw in Redick when the two opposed each other while playing in the Eastern Conference.
Rivers decided to pull off a sign-and-trade with the Milwaukee Bucks to bring Redick to Los Angeles because the 29-year-old guard is comfortable in his own skin.
"He's kind of over himself," Rivers said. "He knows what he knows. And he knows how to play. And I think the more guys you can get on the team that know how to play and play off each other, the better."
Redick has never been a full-time starter during his seven-year NBA career, playing mostly the role of a sixth man.
In 424 career games, Redick has started just 54 in the regular season. He has averaged 22.3 minutes per game over his career.
Redick started just 13 of 78 games last season for the Bucks and the Orlando Magic. But he did average a career-high 14.1 points per game.
With the Clippers, Redick probably will be the starting shooting guard, but he'll share time with sixth man Jamal Crawford.
"Every player wants that opportunity to start," Redick said. "It's funny, because in free agency that was probably like the ninth or 10th factor. That was not a huge factor. Now, I want to play."
Redick admitted that when he visited Minnesota during the free-agency period, he asked Timberwolves Coach Rick Adelman about starting.
"But I never asked Doc that," Redick said. "I really didn't care. I just figured that if they were going to go after me in free agency, if they were going to make a trade like that, I was going to play. And that was what was important to me, not necessarily being penciled in as the two guard. It's great if it happens. It's great if that's what it ends up being for the year. But that's not a huge priority."
The Clippers gave Redick a four-year, $27-million contract because they believe he'll make it easier for Chris Paul and Blake Griffin to operate.
The hope is that Redick will spread the court for the Clippers and make defenders think before leaving him open.
Over his career, Redick has made 42.9 percent of his field goals and 39 percent of his three-pointers. He is an 88.1 percent free-throw shooter.
"Hopefully I can knock down shots," Redick said. "Jared (Dudley) and I both were brought here to spread the floor a little bit. I'm a guy that you can run plays for because I can make the right play. I can make the right pass."
Defense is another issue.
But again, Redick won't back down from the challenge of defending his position.
He says he has improved as a defender. He says it's tough to stop "most great players one-on-one," but he'll stick to the Clippers' team-defense principles.
"I know some nights are going to be more of a challenge," Redick said. "But I play hard on that side of the ball and I make the right play on that side of the ball."
During training camp, Rivers liked what he saw of Redick on the defensive end.
"He's a great team defender," Rivers said. "He's never going to be an on-the-ball stopper. We don't need him to be. We need him to be in the right spot. And he's always in the right spots that you tell him to be. That's all you can ask of anybody on your defense."
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