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Friday, July 19, 2024
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Lakers Hire Former Player, Podcaster, Analyst JJ Redick As Head Coach

  • Redick had hosted a podcast with LeBron James.
  • He’s older than Celtics coach Mazzulla, who just won the NBA title at 35.
Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

The Lakers have found their next head coach. 

JJ Redick, the former three-point specialist and ESPN commentator who recently launched a podcast with LeBron James will now coach his cohost, according to ESPN. Redick reportedly agreed to a four-year contract and was offered the job Thursday morning. 

Since the team fired Darvin Ham in early May, Redick had been considered a front-runner for the job given his ties to James and his basketball acumen, which has been on display since he joined ESPN as a color commentator in 2021. He quickly worked his way up to the broadcast team for the NBA Finals after Doc Rivers, who left the booth to coach the Bucks. 

Just 39, Redick is one of the youngest coaches in the NBA, but not younger than Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla, who just won the NBA title at age 35. Redick has no previous coaching experience and will face a steep learning curve. NBA teams have hired fresh coaches with mixed results, from the Steve Kerr Warriors dynasty to Steve Nash’s struggles in Brooklyn. Rivers himself thrived when hired fresh out of the booth to coach the Magic in 1999.

ESPN reported Lakers GM Rob Pelinka believes Redick can adjust quicker than most novice coaches with the right staff around him. Redick takes over the organization a week ahead of the NBA draft, in which the Lakers have long been rumored to draft LeBron’s oldest son, Bronny. Regardless, LeBron, who will turn 40 in December, is expected to opt out of his contract and become a free agent. 

Redick will be the Lakers’ eighth coach since Phil Jackson retired in 2011. 

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