The moment J.J. Redick knew he wanted to sign with the Philadelphia 76ers came at 1 a.m. on the first day of free agency.
After five years with the Los Angeles Clippers, Redick knew he’d be looking for a new team in a new city, but wasn’t sure exactly where.
The 76ers, with a roster stacked with young talent, were high on the list, but it was a moment involving Joel Embiid that cemented the decision.
“We were actually at the practice facility and we were out on the court and we were just chatting,” Redick told Business Insider. “And all of the sudden [76ers head coach] Brett Brown told Joel Embiid to go down in the post.
“I was in, like, a blue blazer,” Redick said. “And we started running post actions and then we started running pick-and-roll actions. And it was just fun to be around Coach Brown and see his passion for the game and kind of talk hoops with him.”
Redick signed a one-year, $23 million contract with the 76ers – a deal he called “insane” – but said Brown was instrumental in bringing him to the team.
“I think Coach Brown was really the biggest factor in me going to Philly,” Redick said.
Of course, after leaving the Clippers, a perennial playoff contender, Redick knows there’s work to be done with the 76ers. He said playoffs are the goal for the season, but the focus will be improving as the year goes on and helping a young core jell.
“I’m only on a one-year deal, but I’m hoping this is sort of a long-term thing and I can kind of grow with these guys,” Redick said. “Because they really have one of the best cores in the league. So, I think our focus this year from training camp going forward is trying to get better every day. Ultimately, as a team we’ve all talked about it, we want to make the playoffs this year.”
Watch our interview with Redick below.