L.A. Lakers hire NBA veteran, ESPN analyst J.J. Redick as head coach

In an unexpected move, the Los Angeles Lakers have chosen their next head coach for the upcoming 2024-25 season. The team has appointed J.J. Redick, a former 15-year NBA player and current ESPN analyst, to lead the franchise.

Redick, who has never coached at the professional or college level before, brings a unique perspective to the role. He is well-known for his broadcasting career, providing insightful analysis on ESPN’s NBA coverage. Additionally, he co-hosts the popular podcast “Mind the Game” with Lakers superstar LeBron James.

The Lakers have signed Redick to a four-year contract and he is currently in the process of assembling his coaching staff. Despite his lack of coaching experience, the team is confident in his ability to guide the team to success in the upcoming season.
Redick’s prominent media career played a significant role in his consideration for the position. Lakers’ VP and GM, Rob Pelinka, praised Redick’s ability to connect with players and his basketball intelligence, making him a valuable candidate. To help him adjust quickly, Redick will have a team of exceptional assistant coaches by his side.

This wouldn’t be the first time an NBA team has chosen a head coach without prior experience. The Brooklyn Nets made a similar move in 2020 by hiring Steve Nash, who had previously worked in player development for the Golden State Warriors but had never been part of a full-time coaching staff.

In the past, the New York Knicks and the Nets also hired Derek Fisher and Jason Kidd, respectively, immediately after their retirements from playing.

Coaching the Lakers is an immense challenge, especially for someone without prior coaching experience. Redick faces high expectations as he takes on the task of leading a team that won the 2020 championship and reached the 2023 Western Conference finals, particularly as LeBron James nears the end of his career.
After a disappointing season led by former head coach Darvin Ham, the Lakers are in the process of regrouping. Ham, who was let go after a two-season tenure with a 90-74 record and a lone appearance in the 2023 Finals, failed to advance past the first round in 2024.

In their pursuit of a new coach, the Lakers made a strong push for University of Connecticut coach Dan Hurley. However, despite offering a lucrative six-year, $70 million contract, they were unable to secure his services.

Fortunately, the Lakers have acquired a valuable player in Redick, who brings a wealth of experience to the court. During his four seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers, Redick demonstrated his prowess by averaging nearly 16 points per game.

Prior to his NBA career, Redick had an impressive college basketball career at Duke University. He was recognized as a two-time All-American and was named the 2005-06 Associated Press Player of the Year.