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Lakers Head Coach Search: Former Player Emerges As Frontrunner

JJ Redick has emerged has a frontrunner for the Lakers open head coach position.

The Los Angeles Lakers seem to be narrowing their search down for head coaches after the dismissal of Darvin Ham. There have been many names to circulate around being the next head coach and one that’s been prominent has been JJ Redick. No final decision has ultimately been made yet according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Over the past several weeks, the head coach search has been primarily focusing on two different candidates. JJ Redick and Pelicans associate coach James Borrego.

Lakers Head Coach Search: JJ Redick Emerges As Frontrunner

Redick was the first candidate of several to have a meeting with the Lakers a few weeks ago. Borrego also did an interview meeting with the Lakers and recently his second with the Lakers last week. It seems to be narrowed down to these two candidates. Redick has yet to coach above any youth level and is currently a sports analyst for ESPN. Given Redick’s high-profile playing career along with his new “Mind the Game” podcast with LeBron James, it’s easy to understand how he can be seen as the front-runner.

There’s not an expected timeframe as to when the Lakers will make a firm decision on who to be the new head coach. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said he’s received word that the Lakers are not close to naming their replacement, although there are links to two candidates.

“There’s a very strong message that the Lakers are still early in their process. That there are steps still to be done and they’re being very thorough. This is still up in the air. Then there is information out there otherwise involving JJ Redick. I have people telling me this is JJ Redick’s job that I trust. I have some people saying this is a process that is not complete. I suspect I know something, but I am just going to tell you it is multiple streams of information. James Borrego has had multiple meetings with the Lakers. I think he’s a viable candidate for sure, but I think JJ Redick is a very strong candidate.”

Lakers’ Needs

Coach Ham with the organization went 90-74 with a 9-12 playoff record. The Lakers having dismissed Darvin Ham in May are in desperate need of a leader who can bring the purple and gold back to another championship-caliber team. The Lakers have acquired several pieces throughout Ham’s two seasons being the head coach. Ultimately, missing a few pieces could be the answer. However, the Lakers seem to be searching for a coach who has the potential and power to be the Lakers’ head coach for a while. Over the past several years, they have gone through Frank Vogel from 2019-2022 and Darvin Ham from 2022-2024. The organization is looking for someone to command the locker room and hold players accountable. Providing a strategic game plan and structure within the organization and its players can be ideal for a successful year.

The Last Word

Redick will still remain with ESPN for the time being. He will be broadcasting part of the NBA Finals matchup with the Dallas Mavericks vs Boston Celtics. As rumors continue, it seems the Lakers are waiting for Redick to finish up his broadcasting work for the NBA Finals, before there’s an affirmative decision that he is to be the new head coach for the Lakers. While Redick has no coaching experience, I think his relationship off-court with LeBron James could be a masterful pairing between the two working together. Both have incredible basketball knowledge and Redick could be the leader the Lakers have been missing. This is not the first time we’ve seen an NBA player go into coaching. It would be a drastic and risky move that would make headlines and put a lot of pressure on Redick’s shoulders going into next season.

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