5 Reasons Why J.J. Redick Is Right Pick As Lakers Future Head Coach

5 min readJun 14, 2024

Despite tormenting moments of sorrow and angst, the Los Angeles Lakers are on the verge of a momentous franchise-defining move as they prepare to hire J.J. Redick to be their head coach of the future and next Pat Riley.

After a dismal season that ended in the Lakers’ disappointing first round ‘gentlemen’s sweep’ by the Nuggets, Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka fired Darvin Ham and announced they were looking for their next legacy coach.
Two months earlier, when it was starting to become obvious to everybody that he was not happy with Lakers’ head coach Darvin Ham, LeBron James started a podcast called ‘Mind the Game’ with none other than JJ Redick.

LeBron said he started the podcast with JJ Redick because he was tired of the overdone ‘barbershop debate’ approach to sports shows and wanted to teach the NBA’s fans “what the game of basketball really, truly means.”
The irony that the ‘Mind the Game’ podcasts served to display to the NBA and the Lakers’ front office just how ready JJ Redick was to become a head coach has not been missed. Just a coincidence or LeBron James LeGM?

Brian Windhorst recently said JJ Redick’s podcasts with LeBron James were essentially interviews for the Lakers job as well as a confirmation from the King should the Lakers decide to hire him as their next new head coach.
“They’ve extensively broken down the Lakers’ offense, extensively broken down what they do. It’s been out there for the whole world to hear, including the Lakers’ front office.” No wonder, L.A. zeroed in on Redick.

While LeBron has denied being involved in the Lakers’ decision to hire a new head coach, there’s no question he’s made sure everyone knew he thought JJ was a true basketball savant and potential great head coach.
But to his credit, Bron didn’t hesitate to text Dan Hurley and let him know he was not leaving L.A. and would love to have him as the Lakers’ next head coach. Bron’s likes to exert his influence without picking a favorite.

While the Lakers job scares many, JJ’s embraced the challenge and loves the opportunity to become the team’s next great head coach. Here are five reasons why JJ Redick is the right pick as L.A.’s head coach of the future.

1. Redick Is Only Candidate With Legacy Potential

Despite being turned down by NCAA championship coach Danny Hurley, the Lakers’ primary goal is still to find the franchise’s next great head coach to build a modern championship identity and culture in the new NBA.

J.J. Redick is the only candidate for the Lakers’ head coach position who possesses the charisma, leadership, and basketball intelligence to become the franchise’s next legacy coach in the mold of Pat Riley or Phil Jackson.
Once Danny Hurley declined their offer, the Lakers immediately turned back to JJ Redick instead of James Borrego or any of the available NBA assistants like the Nuggets’ David Adelman or Timberwolves’ Micah Nori.

Whether you believe he was a gift from the basketball gods or the result of a grand scheme by LeBron James, JJ Redick is the Lakers only candidate who has the star power or basketball mind of a Pat Riley or Phil Jackson.

2. The NBA Is Undergoing a Changing of the Guard

There’s no question the NBA’s undergoing a changing of the guard where older players, coaches, and teams are being replaced by younger players, coaches, and teams. This is not your father’s or grandfather’s NBA.

The Lakers have prioritized player development as a main focus of their new head coach. Just three years away from playing in the league, JJ has the elite communication skills to get young players to buy into his system.
Hiring a 39-year old recently-retired former player like Redick, who since transformed himself into a respected basketball analyst and podcaster, is a smart and savvy way to connect to the new generation of NBA players.

It helps when you’re from the same generation and speak same language. Building a championship identity and culture starts with hiring a head coach like JJ who can command respect and win the support of the players.

3. Former Players Have Advantages As Head Coaches

The Lakers dodged a serious bullet when Danny Hurley declined their offer because his having never played or coached in the NBA was likely a greater handicap than JJ Redick’s having never coached other than at youth level.

While having played in the league is not a requirement to become a good or great head coach, there’s no question it’s a clear major advantage JJ Redick has over Danny Hurley, James Borrego, David Adelman, and Micah Nori.
The coaching transition from college to the NBA has proven to be difficult because the players are rich men and not college kids and the transition from assistant to head coach requires a completely different set of talents.

JJ Redick’s experience as an NBA player and analyst/podcaster gives him clear advantages over candidates who never played in the league. Former players are more easily accepted and better understand roster dynamics.

4. Redick Will Embrace NBA 3-Point Revolution

Hiring a head coach who built his brand as a volume 3-point sniper is the best way to guarantee the Lakers will fully embrace the 3-point revolution that’s transformed how basketball games are played and won in the NBA.

The Lakers ranked 27th out of 30 NBA teams by averaging just 31.4 3-point attempts per game last season. Despite the 8th best average of 37.7%, the Lakers still only finished 24th with only 11.8 made 3-pointers per game.
The teams in the finals — the Celtics and Mavericks — finished 1st and 3rd in made 3-pointers per game with 16.5 and 14.8 respectively, which means they score 14.1 or 9.0 more points per game from deep than the Lakers.

JJ Redick understands that the Lakers need to take between 35 to 40 threes per game to be competitive in the modern NBA. Under Redick, the Lakers will finally run plays and try to add players who can take and make threes.

5. Redick Is Built For the Bright Lights of L.A.

JJ Redick’s 3-year career as an NBA analyst and professional podcaster makes him uniquely qualified to be deal with the scorching press, media spotlight, and bright lights that come with the Lakers’ head coaching job.

From his role as part of ESPN’s Finals crew to his ‘Mind the Game’ podcasts with LeBron James and his Old Man and the Three podcasts, JJ has shown he has the charisma, quick intelligence, and charm to manage the media.
As we saw with Darvin Ham and previous Lakers coaches, being able to hold your own in post game pressers is critical. The Lakers’ press can smell blood in the water like hungry sharks. Having a media pro like JJ is a plus.

Unlike Danny Hurley, JJ Redick has not wavered in his desire and belief that he can be the Lakers’ next great head coach. Like Kobe said, it takes a certain kind of person to embrace the L.A. experience. JJ is built for L.A.

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