Can J. J. Redick Be Next Pat Riley Or Phil Jackson for the L.A. Lakers?

7 min readMay 8, 2024

The time has come for the Los Angeles Lakers to find a dynamic young head coach with the charisma and vision to become their next Pat Riley or Phil Jackson. Could J.J. Redick be the next head coach the Lakers need?

The Lakers are facing a daunting series of internal franchise-defining decisions while the NBA is in the midst of a generational changing of the guard where newer stars and teams are replacing older stars and teams.
Besides finding a new head coach and coaching staff, the Lakers need to re-sign LeBron James and make major decisions on whether to pursue a third superstar or instead make major upgrades to their current roster.

The last thing the Lakers need to do right now is to hire another retread head coach or long-time assistant coach who does not have the starpower, intelligence, or vision to help the franchise navigate dangerous times.
Instead, the Lakers need to hire a dynamic young head coach with the vision to chart a course for the Lakers that fully embraces how the 3-point shot has transformed the way the modern game of basketball is played.

The Lakers need to focus on finding their next Hall of Fame head coach because the decisions they make this offseason will directly impact their future success and whether the team can remain as a legitimate contender.
They need to replace Darvin Ham with a head coach who not only can handle the basic roster rotation and game management duties required of every coach but also help the front office choose the right players.

The Lakers need a head coach who can replicate the championship success and dynasties Pat Riley and Phil Jackson brought to the purple and gold. Here are four reasons J.J. Redick should be the Lakers’ next head coach.

Time for Changes

If the Los Angeles Lakers want to hire a new head coach who can become their next Pat Riley or Phil Jackson, they will need to dramatically change the internal process they usually used to choose their next head coach.

In the thirteen years since Phil Jackson, the Lakers have had six different head coaches. During that span, the Lakers only won 2020 championship in the bubble under Frank Vogel but subsequently fired him just a year later.
The Lakers need to admit the process they’ve been using to find new head coaches has not worked and it’s time to stop relying solely on just their internal network and candidates with previous connections to the Lakers.

Another part of the Lakers head coach searches is they’ve not been willing to pay the eight figures elite NBA head coaches earn. That’s why they could not close the deal to hire Ty Lue and ended up settling for Frank Vogel.
The Lakers now realize that was a mistake and are willing to pay market value for their next head coach. They clearly understand they need to pay whatever it costs to get a coach who can lead them to a championship.

Heading into the most critical offseason in the franchise’s history, the Lakers desperately need to find their head coach of the future. Coaching continuity is just as important to a team’s success as player continuity.
Nor do the Lakers need to limit their search to experienced head coaches. Darvin Ham didn’t lose his job because he was a rookie coach. He lost his job because of his inability to handle basic roster and game management.

In the end, the time has come for changes in what the Lakers are looking for in a new head coach. These are challenging times and L.A. desperately needs to find their next great head coach ala Pat Riley or Phil Jackson.

Opportunity Knocks

Timing is everything when replacing head coaches as the options can be limited but opportunity is knocking loudly on the Lakers’ doors right now as L.A. contemplates J.J. Redick as their next Pat Riley or Phil Jackson.

The Los Angeles Lakers can thank the basketball gods for perfectly timing the dramatic downfall of Darvin Ham with the surprising rise of J.J. Redick as everybody’s pick to become the league’s next great young head coach.
Fortuitously, two of the Lakers options for an experienced NBA head coach in Ty Lue and Jason Kidd appear to be more interested in signing new extensions to stay with the Clippers and Mavericks than joining the Lakers.

One of the Lakers’ top priorities is to find a new head coach who would support the team adding a new starting center and moving Anthony Davis back to the four and playing two-big lineups like Minnesota and Denver.
That’s why the Lakers are also interested in Timberwolves assistant coach Micah Nori and Nuggets assistant coach David Adelman as possible head coaches who would be excellent fits as Los Angeles’ next head coach.

While Nori and Adleman are excellent assistants, neither has the personal charisma or starpower of Redick, whose brilliant BBIQ has been showcased with his work for ESPN and his ‘Mind the Game’ podcasts with LeBron.
Ideally, Nori and Adleman would be great prospects to be assistants under J.J. Redick. Because Redick would be another rookie head coach, the Lakers would be wise to also recruit an experienced head coach as lead assistant.

The Lakers need to answer when opportunity knocks and bring J.J. Redick in for an interview. The Lakers need a permanent long-term solution at coach and J.J. Redick could be the L.A.’s next Pat Riley or Phil Jackson.

The Modern Game

The main reason why the Los Angeles Lakers should to hire J.J. Redick as their next head coach is he would become the driving force leading the franchise to finally embrace the 3-point shot and the modern game.

The Lakers did make progress in their 3-point game by finishing the season shooting 37.7% from deep, which was the 8th best in the league and the 3rd best in franchise history versus 37.8% in 2007–08 and 38.1% in 2013–14.
Unfortunately, 3-point shooting success in today’s NBA requires volume 3-point shots. Last season, the Lakers only attempted only 31.3 threes per game, 28th in the league, and made only 11.8 threes, 24th in the league.

The single biggest area where J.J. Redick could impact the Lakers is by fully embracing how the 3-point shot has revolutionized how the game is played. Shoot 40–50 threes per game on offense. Switch everything on defense.
Strategically, nothing could better complement and unleash the individual games of LeBron James and Anthony Davis than the Lakers revamping their offensive strategy to dramatically take and make more 3-point shots.

The second strategy the Lakers need to adopt is to embrace what the Nuggets, Celtics, and Timberwolves have done and commit to a modern two-way center to start alongside AD in a bully-ball two-bigs lineup.
That means the Lakers utilizing the three first round picks and four pick swaps in their current portfolio of a trading chips to acquire a second big who can stretch the court offensively as well as protect the rim defensively.

The Lakers need to focus on optimizing Anthony Davis, who increasingly will replace LeBron James as the face of the franchise. Redick is probably the Lakers’ best head coaching candidate to embrace the modern game.

LeBron’s Approval

Combining the all-world superstar skills and ‘coach-on-the-court’ BBIQ of LeBron James with the savvy roster building and game management of the elite NBA head coaches like Eric Spoelstra or Ty Lue wins championships.

The Los Angeles Lakers have a unique opportunity to hire a head coach candidate whom we know LeBron James respects and appreciates in J.J. Redick, the King’s online partner for their ‘Mind the Game’ podcasts.
Needless to say, hiring J.J. Redick would likely guarantee that the Lakers’ ‘coach-on-the-court’ and ‘coach-on-the-bench’ would always be on the same page and thinking as one, which was clearly not the case this season.

While LeBron has been accused by critical media of being a serial coach killer, the truth is James wants to be coached and demands the same level of performance and accountability from his coaches as his teammates.
James won championships playing for Spoelstra, Lue, and Vogel. He didn’t win championships playing for Blatt, Walton, or Ham. Hiring J.J. Redick could be the key to LeBron James winning his 5th NBA championship.

The difference between LeBron James and a great coach and LeBron James and a bad coach is the difference between a championship and first round exit. For too long, the Lakers have acted like the coach doesn’t matter.
Teams can pay head coaches whatever they want. There are no limits like for players. The Los Angeles Lakers have an opportunity to sign a brilliant LeBron-approved basketball mind in J.J. Redick as their next head coach.

The Lakers are hoping to lock LeBron James up for three more seasons. Hiring J.J. Redick to be their next head coach would help ensure that LeBron’s last few seasons would end more successfully than Kobe’s.

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Lakers fanatic since 1971 when team traded for Wilt Chamberlain. Founder, editor, and publisher of, a community for smart informed Lakers fans.