“What about emotional intelligence?” – JJ Redick and LeBron James on the overlooked aspects of being an NBA player

Can the Charlotte Hornets defeat LeBron James one more time?

It takes a lot to play in the NBA, but emotional intelligence is a big part of it.

Playing in the NBA requires athletes to have premier attributes like strength, talent, and more. However, people often disregard the fact that the NBA is a physical sport that requires good mental strength to thrive.

In the most recent episode of the ‘Mind the Game’ podcast, JJ Redick and LeBron James discussed how important having good emotional intelligence is to play in the NBA. It is an aspect of the league that needs to be addressed more and is vital to success.

“Part of the brain and part of lasting in the NBA, skill set, talent, strength, basketball intelligence, super important. What about emotional intelligence? What about being able to be part of the group?” JJ said to LeBron on their podcast.

“Navigate locker room situations, navigate relationships with coaches, navigate relationships in the training room. I think, to some degree, you need all the stuff beforehand, but to last in the NBA, you have to have a level of that,” Redick added.

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JJ lasted in the NBA because he knew his role

Most mid-2000s basketball fans remember how good Redick was at Duke University.

He was the best player in the country, and most non-Duke fans hated his guts because he was dominant in college.

When JJ declared for the NBA Draft, most people would have expected him to be a star, but he eventually became a high-level role player.

Redick had weaknesses, including his defense and lack of self-creation ability, but he knew how to play his role and be a good teammate. T

hat goes a long way for players in the NBA because being reliable helps carve out lengthy careers for some players.

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Boston Celtics starter Derrick White is not a star but a productive role player. He once talked about how much getting over himself has become a big part of Boston’s long-term future.

“I’d say number one, you got to get over yourself. It’s not about you. There are times when I don’t touch the ball for ten possessions in a row. And I just got to be ready to go for when I do get my opportunity,” White said to Redick on the The Old Man and the Three podcast.

Being a role player should not be a bad thing

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Redick also spoke about how some young players entering the league have high expectations from the jump.

It is challenging to get an opportunity to start all 82 games, especially for a young player.

They are still getting their feet wet, so they must adjust to the league and work hard in practice.

That is where emotional intelligence comes into play. Younger players should know that, so they must keep striving to become good teammates and reliable players so that their coaches will pick them and eventually let them shine.

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