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JJ Redick Completes Lakers Head Coach Interview, Deal Near?

Prospective Los Angeles Lakers head coach JJ Redick

After tossing and turning for the past few weeks, the Los Angeles Lakers appear to have settled on JJ Redick as their next head coach, per Lakers insider Anthony Irwin of the eponymous Anthony Irwin Show.

However, The Athletic’s Shams Charania made an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show to discuss that very tweet. In response, the longtime NBA insider said that “there isn’t an agreement” between Redick and L.A. just yet.

Redick “went into L.A. on Saturday and had in-person meetings for multiple hours with the Lakers’ brass,” reports Charania. “I’m told his meetings on Saturday were very impressive. All the characteristics that you could see in JJ Redick… those all shined there.”

“Of course we don’t know what type he’s going to be until he’s in that seat…,” Charania adds, before noting that the former NBA guard is the frontrunner for the position.

JJ Redick Completes Lakers Head Coach Interview, Deal Near?

Redick, who became a popular ESPN analyst and podcast host after retiring, may have been L.A.’s initial choice.

The timeline is still fuzzy on whether the Dan Hurley saga was indeed part of prologue to Redick’s being favored. To that point, it seems unlikely that the Lakers would’ve been able to keep their interest in a coach of his standing quiet for so long. Yet, their run at Hurley was very real, with the coach going so far as to confirm the Lakers made an official offer. If Redick was L.A.’s guy through and through, that wouldn’t have happened.

Untangling The Truth

The most likely scenario is that the Lakers likely put out feelers to many of the to head coaches. They may not have heard anything from Hurley initially. Then, L.A.’s front office caught wind of Hurley’s intrigue. It’s not hard to imagine the phone calls that would have been made behind the scenes, Lakers executives excitedly discussing the possibility that Hurley really is interested in them, speaking in hushed tones because even they couldn’t believe it was real.

That doesn’t mean that L.A. believed Redick would be a bad head coach. It merely means that they recognized there was a more proven and accomplished one that was available. One who could be at just the beginning of a legendary career. They would have been fools not to go after Hurley.

However, when the Huskies head coach decided that keeping his family and players happy outweighed his NBA ambitions, the Lakers found that Redick kept the light on for them.

Risk & Reward

As even Charania notes, there are questions —and good ones —about how Redick will fare as a head coach. Nonetheless, there are few people with his combination of experience, ability, knowledge, and passion when it comes to the game of basketball.

The only other candidate that they have who could make a similar claim is Boston Celtics assistant Sam Cassell. However, the Lakers front office hasn’t had the opportunity to see or hear Cassell talk about hoops, let alone like a child opening a toy on Christmas, like they have with Redick. They haven’t seen their most cherished asset, LeBron James, take a liking to him in the way that he has Redick.

Of course, his relationship with James could backfire. It’s an undeniably awkward position for two new friends to be in. One is tasked with taking the other across the finish line in a race he’s never ran. One must listen to a person he was better than, brighter than, and who knows it. A person who may hesitate to call out James both because of his superiority and their budding friendship.

However, their bond could also lend itself to James trusting Redick more than any coach he’s had before. In the end, there’s obvious risk involved in a Redick hire. What the NBA world may soon find out is if the reward is much greater.


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