The NBA offseason has provided plenty of entertaining stories, but this one might take the cake for the most absurd and most serious.
To open up the newest episode of The J.J. Redick Podcast that came out Thursday and featured Magic rookie Mo Bamba, the 76ers guard shared a tale about a very recent experience in a car service.
Redick said he was doing a photo shoot for MrPorter.com in New York City, and when the shoot was over, the company had a car to come pick him up. Redick was with his wife and her twin sister at the time, and he and his sister-in-law both had bags to put in the back of the Escalade they were going to be riding in.
When Redick went to put his bag in the back, he said he noticed a smell in the car, but it wasn't distinct or very obviously something disgusting. After driving through the city for a bit, the car came to a stop at a corner, at which point Redick's sister-in-law Kylee tapped him on the shoulder to tell him there was a person in the back of the car with them. There was a blanket over what appeared to be a cage or a box in the back of the car, and she was saying that there was a living person inside.
From there, Redick says he, his wife Chelsea and Kylee got out of the car after asking the driver to pull over. Redick says when he exited the car he saw the blanket move and he told the driver there might be something in the back of the car before going to get his and Kylee's bags from the back. After Redick got the bags, the driver went to the back to check if there was something back there.
Read a transcription of Redick's recollection of what happened from there below:
"So the car is like facing ... sort of perpendicular to us. And I'm like, 'Sir, I think there's a person in your backseat.'
"And so he lifts the blanket up, but like towards the window, so that the blanket is facing up, so we couldn't see cause we were on the sidewalk—perpendicular to the car, not behind the car. And he's like 'No, there's nothing in here. There's nothing in here.' And he closes the blanket back, and then he closes the trunk.
"And as he's like walking around to the front seat, a head pops up. [Bamba starts to laugh.]
"It's the—no, this is not funny. There's a back of a female's head. She's got blond hair, there's a ponytail, and based on the size of the box or cage that this person is in, it's like either, like a very small human, or a child. And I'm like, 'We all saw it, right?'
"So he drives off, and then Kylee, now at this point, it's like, 'Are you sure? Was that a dog? Was that a dog with like a very fury tail?'
"And she's like, 'No. The reason I said there was a person is because I saw movement in my peripheral—out of my right eye. So I turned around, and the blanket was moving. So when I looked back, like half of a human face came out of the blanket. I saw a woman's eyes, woman's face, woman's blond hair.'"
The trio took a cab home and reached out to the car agency and the police. Redick says the car service agency reached back by email to say the driver was suspended because they canceled the ride due to a person being in the front seat, even though Redick says he explicitly told the agency what he had noticed and recounted to Bamba on the podcast, which was there was a person in a cage in the back, not that there was an additional passenger riding shotgun.
Redick said he hadn't heard back from the police at the time of the recording of the podcast. He added that Chelsea texted him that she is reaching out to the FBI tip line to open a claim.
"It definitely was not a dog, I will say that," Redick continued. "It was a human being in the backseat of his car, under a blanket, in some sort of box or cage. That's my story."
Redick is getting ready to enter his 13th season in the NBA this year and his second with Philadelphia. Last season he posted a career-high 17.1 points while shooting 42% from three.