JJ Redick confirmed as new Lakers coach
NBA

JJ Redick confirmed as new Lakers coach

/ 06:24 AM June 25, 2024

Former NBA player JJ Redick Lakers LebRon James

Former NBA player JJ Redick  (Getty Images via AFP)

LOS ANGELES – Former NBA player-turned-pundit J.J. Redick says he is ready for the challenge of taking the Los Angeles Lakers back to the pinnacle of the NBA after being confirmed as the new head coach of the 17-time champions.

Redick, who spent 15 years in the NBA as a player before joining ESPN in 2021 as an analyst, was formally unveiled on Monday as the successor to Darvin Ham, who was fired following the Lakers’ first-round playoff defeat to Denver.

Redick’s appointment to such a high-profile position, which was first reported last week, has raised eyebrows across the NBA given his lack of coaching experience.

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The 40-year-old analyst acknowledged those concerns in remarks to reporters on Monday, admitting his emergence as a contender for the Lakers job had been “surreal.”

“This process has been surreal to say the least,” Redick said, before thanking the Lakers for “entrusting me in this position.”

“I take this responsibility very seriously,” Redick said. “I have never coached in the NBA before. I don’t know if you guys have heard that.”

The Lakers finished the regular season with a 47-35 record but were unable to threaten Denver in the opening round of the playoffs.

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Redick said he was under no illusions about the scale of the rebuilding task before him.

“I know what the expectations are,” Redick said. “Lakers fans have some of the most passionate fans around the world. And the expectation is a championship.

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“So that’s my job. It’s our staff’s job … It’s on all of us to to deliver a championship-caliber team.”

Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said Redick had been appointed after a “thoughtful and thorough search process.”

“J.J. is a fierce competitor and has an extraordinary basketball IQ and understanding of the modern game that will energize players and excite fans,” Pelinka said.

“He brings an intense dedication to innovation, advancing the game and staying at the forefront of an ever-evolving league…this is an exciting time for Lakers basketball.”

Media reports say Redick has been appointed on a four-year deal.

It came after the Lakers were rejected by highly rated University of Connecticut coach Dan Hurley, who opted to remain in college basketball.

Redick has a close relationship with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, with whom he co-hosts a podcast, and the Lakers are clearly hoping that bond will help turn the team back into title contenders.

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During his NBA playing career, Redick averaged 12.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists a game over 940 contests from 2006-2021 with Orlando, Milwaukee, the Los Angeles Clippers, Philadelphia and New Orleans.

TAGS: LA Lakers, NBA

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