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Hornets to Interview ESPN Analyst for Head Coach Vacancy

ESPN analyst JJ Redick, Charlotte Hornets head coach candidate

The Charlotte Hornets continue to dig deep in their head coach search, with ESPN analyst JJ Redick joining their list of interviewees, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Redick, who played in the NBA for 15 seasons, interviewed for the Toronto Raptors head coach vacancy last May.

Hornets to Interview ESPN Analyst for Head Coach Vacancy

According to Redick, he’s had between six and eight interviews since retiring. However, not all of them have been for a head coach role.

Last year, Redick recounted a story about Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla wanting to hire him as an assistant coach. The reason Redick is not currently a coach is because the Celtics’ training camp schedule conflicted with a golfing trip.

With that anecdote alone, there’s reason to question if Redick will be committed enough to coach full-time.

No Coaching Experience

There’s no doubt that he has the necessary intellect or passion for the game.

Yet, his intelligence and zeal will be irrelevant if he doesn’t have the psychological endurance that head coaches must have. This isn’t to say that he lacks the mental fortitude for the role. Nonetheless, he hasn’t shown himself up to the task yet.

The 39-year-old is 20th all-time in career 3-pointers (1,950) and 18th all-time in career 3-point percentage (.415). Widely considered to be one of the most knowledgeable former pros, Redick recently started a podcast with Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James in an effort to teach fans about the ins-and-outs of basketball. Redick also hosts The Old Man and the Three, a popular podcast that sees him sit down with a current NBA star to discuss their career.

He’s been taught by Hall of Fame coaches, namely former Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski and former NBA head coach Stan Van Gundy. That’s lent to his breadth of basketball knowledge and his approach to coaching.

However, he doesn’t have head coaching experience past the youth level. There’s no way to know if he’s cut from the same cloth as Krzyzewski and Van Gundy. Krzyzewski was a head coach for five decades, beginning his career coaching the Army’s men’s basketball team in 1975. Van Gundy was an NBA head coach for 13 seasons.

The Last Word on JJ Redick

It’s easier to see Redick landing an assistant role with the Hornets than their head coaching gig. Many former players, such as Celtics assistant Sam Cassell and Utah Jazz assistant Jason Terry, began their coaching careers in that same position.

Nonetheless, if hired as head coach, expect Charlotte to embody many of the characteristics that Redick does.

He’ll teach them the fundamentals and core concepts, expect them to be highly disciplined with their work habits, and emphasize the 3-ball. They’re likely to have thorough game plans. With the right talent, he very well could lead a team into a the playoffs.


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