Before a chat with Orlando Magic rookie Mo Bamba, J.J. Redick opened today’s episode of his podcast with an account of how he supposedly saw a person in a cage in his car service driver’s trunk yesterday. Wait, what?
The story starts at the 2:40 mark of this video. After Redick did a photoshoot with a clothing company, the brand arranged a car to take him home to Brooklyn. As he put his bags into the trunk of the car, he noticed a smell, but one that he said “didn’t smell like dog food or dog shit.” A weird smell, but not one of the offensive variety. He thought nothing of it and got into the car with his wife Chelsea and sister-in-law Kylee.
As the group drove through Manhattan, Kylee, “pale as a ghost,” noticed that there was a person in the trunk, which wasn’t walled off from the rest of the car. Redick turned around, and noticed a large blanket—that was moving slightly—covering either a box or cage. Redick asked the driver to pull over.
We jumped out of the car immediately. Chelsea just kinda doesn’t know what’s going on. And I’m like—as I was getting in the car I noticed the blanket was moving—“Sir, you have something in the trunk in your car. Do you know what that is? Is there something in the trunk of your car?” And he’s like, “No, I don’t have anything back here.” And I say, “Well, can I get my stuff out?” So he pops the trunk and I kinda—as fast as I can, ‘cause it’s New York City, you don’t know ... I’ve seen this blanket move, I don’t know what this is, is it a python? Is it a robber? I don’t know.
Redick grabbed all of the trio’s stuff from the trunk, and got onto the sidewalk, wary of this dude and whatever the hell he had in the trunk of his car. The Sixers guard then began to confront the driver about what exactly was in the goddamn box.
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 laughs loudly]
It’s the—no, this is not funny. There’s a back of a female’s head. She’s—blonde 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, is like, “Are you sure? Was that a dog? Was that a dog with a very furry 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, half of a human face came out of the blanket. I saw a woman’s eyes, woman’s face, woman’s blonde hair.”
The group called both the car agency and the police—it’s unclear how long they waited. The car agency wrote Redick an email back saying that they suspended the driver for having somebody in his front seat, without mentioning the incident at hand. This is despite the fact that Redick was adamant that he had canceled the ride because this guy was harboring a human being under a blanket in his trunk. The trio have not heard back from the police.
Redick then runs through a number of possibilities for what he thinks may have taken place:
So, possible scenarios here: I think best-case for everyone involved is that maybe his sister or his cousin, or maybe a girlfriend or wife, needed a ride across town and they didn’t want to pay for an Uber or taxi. That’s probably best-case scenario. And then from there you can go darker. This is not funny, but child abduction, human trafficking. Like, Chelsea’s dead serious texting me today and she’s like, “I’m calling the FBI tip line and I’m opening a claim. This is serious.” I don’t know what to make of it. It definitely was not a dog. I will say that. It was a human being in the back seat of his car, under a blanket in some sort of box or cage. That’s my story.
Uhhhhh. “This was less than 24 hours ago,” Redick said afterward.
“That’s New York for you,” Bamba said.
Mo, what have you been up to in New York, man?
[Via Sports Illustrated]