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Lakers hire Redick as new head coach

The Los Angeles Lakers have hired former NBA player and ESPN broadcaster JJ Redick to a four-year contract to become the franchise’s next head coach, insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

According to insider Shams Charania, the deal is in the “neighborhood of $8 million per season.”

Identified early by reports as the leading candidate for the job, Redick now becomes the 29th lead tactician in the Lakers’ storied franchise history, succeeding Darvin Ham after his two-year stint.

Redick played 15 years in the NBA with the Magic, Bucks, Clippers, 76ers, Pelicans, and Mavericks. He earned a reputation as one of the league’s best marksmen, knocking down 37% from downtown in his NBA career.

Following retirement Redick launched arguably the most successful podcast in the content world among former players: The Old Man and the Three. Recently he launched a collaborative podcast with LeBron James, Mind the Game, which focuses on breaking down key fundamentals and happenings in the world of basketball.

Redick will now be coaching his podcast buddy, Anthony Davis, Austin Reaves, and the rest of a Lakers team that’s looking to once again tie Boston for the most championships by a team in NBA history. The Lakers last won a title in 2020 under the stewardship of Frank Vogel. Adding Luke Walton into the mix, Los Angeles will now have its fourth head coach since general manager Rob Pelinka accepted the job in 2017.

Redick, who just a few days ago was an analyst for the NBA Finals broadcast between Boston and Dallas, has no prior experience being a coach of an NBA team. His lone coaching experience, as per The Athletic, is with his son’s youth team.

“Pelinka became sold on Redick’s ability to connect with players and his basketball IQ and believes surrounding him with an elite coaching staff will help to shorten the learning curve into his first coaching job, sources said,” Woj tweeted Thursday in the United States.

No head coach under Pelinka’s guidance has lasted more than three years with the Lakers, who were eliminated in the first round of last year’s playoffs after making the Western Conference Finals in 2023. They were ousted by the Denver Nuggets in both occasions.

UConn head coach Dan Hurley, a multi-titled mentor in the US NCAA, reportedly turned down a six-year, $70 million offer to coach the Lakers over a week ago.

One of the appealing aspects to hiring Redick was the Lakers’ desire to see development in the performance of their key young players such as Reaves, Rui Hachimura, and Max Christie, per Woj.

Charania added that: “Multiple sources with direct knowledge of the meeting described Redick as ‘impressive’ during his visit to Los Angeles, diving deep into his offensive and defensive philosophies and displaying his passion for the sport that foreshadowed a willingness to submit himself to the countless working hours for the modern head coach.”

In Shams’ report, he also indicates the following key points that made the Los Angeles-Redick partnership happen: analysis and empirical evidence will guide decision-making instead of outdated beliefs; more involvement for Davis late in games; less ball-handling duties for James; and cultivating relationships with key members of the team.

Redick previously interviewed with the Toronto Raptors last year and with the Charlotte Hornets this year for their head coaching positions.

“Sources briefed on Redick’s mindset say he badly wants to make the jump to NBA head coach and embrace the challenges the chair brings as he believes it is the natural transition of his basketball life,” Charania wrote.

“As Redick watched these NBA playoffs, both as a commentator and viewer, he envisioned how he would utilize a potential James/Davis-led roster. Just a few years after ending his playing career, Redick has his next basketball challenge.”

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