SHANGHAI — Chinese fans booed Philadelphia 76ers shooting guard JJ Redick every time he touched the ball during Friday’s preseason game at Mercedes-Benz Arena, harboring hard feelings for a racist slur he used several months ago.
“It was the most polite booing that I’ve ever received in my life,” Redick said. “I mean, they booed and they cheered. It was like, ‘We’re mad at you, but we appreciate the way you shoot a basketball.'”
Redick was one of several NBA players to record a video wishing fans a happy Chinese New Year in February for Tencent, a Chinese media company and partner of ESPN. Redick stumbled over his words in the video, and it sounded like he used an offensive term in reference to Chinese people.
Redick apologized in February, explaining that he was “tongue tied,” and reiterated his remorse Friday, praising China’s culture and energy. He said he expected to be booed and that Chinese fans are entitled to do so.
“The whole thing, it was a very unfortunate situation,” Redick said. “I’m just deeply, deeply remorseful for offending so many people.”
Redick, who is coming off the bench to make room for Markelle Fultz in the 76ers’ starting lineup, said the booing did not provide him any additional motivation. He was simply in a spectacular shooting rhythm, his lone miss not counting because he intentionally launched a halfcourt heave after the buzzer at the end of the third quarter.
“I did take an extra dribble on purpose even though it was a preseason game, because I wanted a 10-for-10 night,” said Redick, who was 7-of-7 from 3-point range.