It was a long road to get to where I am today in the NBA. As a rookie, I didn’t play that much; I wasn’t really in the rotation at all. I came from college, where I was playing a lot of minutes, to not playing at all as a rookie in the NBA. I wasn’t a shooter in college; I had to become a three-point shooter for the NBA. It took a lot of time in the gym, a lot of prayers, and believing I can be one of the best players in the NBA — I’m still working to get to that point. But as the year went on, I got more playing time. Without my faith [in God] it would have been really, really tough to get through [that time] not playing.
I grew up in a Bible-believing home, my father being a pastor for 30 years; it’s all I’ve known. I received Jesus Christ [into my heart] when I was 17 years old but He didn’t really become personal to me until about two or three years ago. It took some experiences, some trials and tribulations; that’s what helped develop my relationship with Christ over the last few years.
God is love; His love is unconditional. God has pulled me out of situations that I knew I shouldn’t be in. In His mercy, He loves me so much that He gives me a second chance, a third chance…
A lot of kids are watching us and are influenced and impacted by our game. I handle temptation by staying rooted in [reading and knowing] the Bible, and prayer. You literally have to do those things to avoid temptations. I walk in [God’s] Spirit and surround myself with people who love God and continue to encourage me.
My dad is my role model, my hero. My dad has taught me everything I know as far as life and basketball. He has had a great impact on my life. To see what he’s gone through to be a full time dad, pastor and husband…it’s not an easy thing to do. Those are things I value. That is success.
Success is being obedient to what God is telling you to do. Worldly achievements [like playing in the NBA] are a blessing from God, but not ultimate success. Winning championships, the Hall of Fame, or being mentioned as one of the best, these are not ultimate success.
I believe basketball is the greatest sport in the world! But basketball is not who I am. I value my faith and my family more than basketball. After everything is said and done — after I retire — I want people to say, “He loved God and he represented Christ well.”
— Michael Redd, NBA player