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Should the Lakers Hire JJ Redick?

JJ Redick
(Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports)

Should the Lakers hire JJ Redick?

It depends on if the Lakers want to be taken seriously. I have no malice in my heart for JJ Redick. In fact, I admire him quite a bit. He’s handled the transition from player to broadcaster phenomenally. His podcast breaks down the game of basketball to a molecular level. Any aspiring journalist or sportswriter should look at JJ Redick as a model of success. However, a good podcast does not (or should not) make one a serious coaching candidate.

JJ Redick simply does not have the resumé that should be required of the coach of one of the most successful sports franchises in history. His 15-year NBA career was consistent and certainly something to be proud of, but lacks any awards or championships to hang his hat on. He had no MVPs, no All-NBA or All-Star selections. Basketball Reference even lists his Hall of Fame probably at 0.0%. He’s never coached before, at any level. The recently dismissed Darvin Ham’s comparative bonafide dwarfs Redick’s. Ham’s resumé highlights include:

  • 2004 NBA Champion as a member of the Detroit Pistons
  • 2011-2013: Assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers
  • 2013-2018: Assistant coach for the Atlanta Hawks
  • 2018-2022: Assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks (2019 NBA Champs)
  • 2022-2024: Head coach for the Los Angeles Lakers

I won’t pretend Ham was a stellar head coach for Los Angeles. If one believes their record during his tenure is the defining factor, he was basically mid (90-74 with early round playoff exits both years). But records aren’t everything. A team like the Lakers has expectations, and expectations make or break coaches. The expectations of the Lakers are so great that before the Lakers’ 2024 playoff run had even started, it was pretty clear to everyone that it would be Darvin Ham’s last ride at the helm.

Further speaking on former coaches of the Lakers, Redick would have some massive shoes to fill. Between Pat Riley and Phil Jackson, there are 9 NBA championships and a combined overall record of 1,143-486. These two coaches permanently set the bar for the Los Angeles Lakers and their fans. Darvin Ham was given an incredibly short window to get the Lakers back on this track, and couldn’t pull it off. I don’t see how anyone could make a convincing argument that Redick would fare better, despite people already comparing him to Pat Riley for whatever reason.

There are plenty of other qualified candidates out there that the Lakers should consider first. Despite his rejection, reigning NCAA champ Dan Hurley was as appropriate a choice possible. Other names in the Lakers’ hat have the coaching experience that one would expect of even the most minimal applicants. Sam Cassell has over a decade of assistant coach experience, and is currently helping steer the Boston Celtics to what will likely be yet another championship. James Borrego helped turn the New Orleans Pelicans offense around. David Adelman has been part of the Denver Nuggets as they have surged to become NBA champs and a Western Conference powerhouse. You get the point.

The present day Lakers have a legitimacy problem, and hiring Redick would only worsen those woes. Perception of the team reflects their unserious reputation, as it is rife with rumors and memes. LeGM runs the show behind the scenes. There’s supposed interest in bringing Bronny James on board, despite his frankly abysmal current level of talent. The Lakers won it all in 2020 just for management to immediately blow the team up, and damned the first guy overconfident enough to attempt the same result with half the talent. There has been a revolving door of coaches following Phil Jackson’s retirement in 2011. No one has lasted more than 3 seasons since. What does Redick have that could remedy any of this? Nothing, if you ask me.


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