Top Stories

Lakers introduce JJ Redick as team's new coach

The former NBA player and ESPN NBA analyst is hired as the Lakers' new coach on a reported 4-year deal.


JJ Redick emphasizes serving players, the Lakers organization and fans as the 29th head coach of the franchise.

• Download the NBA App

The Los Angeles Lakers introduced former NBA player and ESPN NBA analyst JJ Redick as the team’s new head coach on Monday. Redick becomes the 29th coach in the franchise’s history.

In a news conference with general manager Rob Pelinka at the Lakers’ training complex, Redick humorously embraced the unlikeliness of his extraordinary hire as he looked across a gym filled with team employees, media members and some of his new players.

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

“It starts with the desire to serve players, to serve the Lakers organization, to serve our fans. It’s also about competition and performance, collaboration, leadership … these are the things that drive me.”

Per multiple reports, Redick agreed to a four-year deal with the Lakers last Thursday.

Redick has never coached in the NBA and retired in 2021 after playing 15 seasons in the NBA with six teams. He began serving as an NBA analyst for ESPN shortly after his retirement and was the lead analyst for the network’s telecast of the 2024 NBA Finals on ABC.

Redick’s coaching experience is confined to volunteering with his sons’ youth teams, but he plans to overcome that yawning gap with encyclopedic basketball knowledge, personal charisma, an experience-packed coaching staff and an eagerness to innovate.

“This process has been surreal, to say the least,” Redick said. “I take this responsibility very seriously … The Lakers have some of the most passionate fans around the world, and the expectation is a championship, and so it’s my job to deliver a championship-caliber team. That’s what I signed up for.

“I just felt like this is what I’m supposed to be doing. I have zero coaching experience in the NBA, but I would argue that I’m very experienced. It started 22 years ago when I went to Duke.”

JJ Redick sheds light on why he decided to take the Lakers head coaching position and what it means to him.

Redick and Lakers star LeBron James host a podcast called “Mind the Game,” which is already wildly popular as listeners often emerge impressed by the duo’s basketball acumen and high-level discussion of tactics and motivation.

At Monday’s news conference, Redick acknowledged that he’ll stop recording their podcast.

“For the time being — and hopefully it’s a very, very long time — I am excommunicated from the content space,” he said. “There will be no podcasts. We’ll do something when I have a breather from what I have coming up. I’m gonna be drinking from a firehose for the next month.”

Instead, he and James will work together for the Lakers, with Redick leading a roster headlined by James, who is six months younger than Redick.

“This job was about the Lakers and it was about LeBron James, Anthony Davis, two of the greatest players ever,” Redick said.

The Lakers needed a coach after parting ways with Darvin Ham in early May after he spent two seasons on the job. He was 90-74 in that span with two playoff berths, a run to the 2023 Western Conference Finals and a championship in the inaugural In-Season Tournament.

The Lakers experienced a disappointing 47-35 campaign in 2023-24 that ended with a loss to the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs in five games.

Closer look at Redick: The 39-year-old Redick is an extraordinary choice by the Lakers, who hired a 15-year veteran with absolutely no coaching experience to lead a franchise with 17 NBA titles, one of the biggest brand names in world sports — and James, the top scorer in league history.

Redick has been around the game his entire life and is the leading scorer in the history of Duke, where he played four seasons under Mike Krzyzewski.

And though Redick is an unorthodox choice, his unlikely ascent is not without some precedent in Lakers lore and recent NBA history.

Pat Riley was a broadcaster for the Lakers in November 1979 when Paul Westhead took over as their coach after Jack McKinney nearly died in a bicycle accident. Westhead hired Riley as an assistant without coaching experience, and Riley became the Lakers’ coach in late 1981 after Westhead clashed with Magic Johnson.

Riley promptly led the Lakers to four championships in the 1980s to begin his incredible career as a coach and executive.

JJ Redick shares that his past as a player and broadcaster prepared him to coach.

Redick spoke optimistically about the Lakers’ roster, saying championship expectations are “reasonable. I don’t look at the current roster as being that far off from being a championship-caliber team.”

Outlook for Lakers: Los Angeles will have the No. 17 pick in the 2024 Draft to work with, a selection that Redick and his staff will surely have input on. The Lakers also have the No. 55 pick in the second round and will be looking to add youth to a roster that features James (who was the oldest player in the league last season).

The Lakers’ difficulties in 2024-25 stung because James and Davis were largely healthy all year long, with both superstars playing more games than they had managed in an NBA season since 2017-18 — 76 for Davis and 71 for James, the leading scorer in NBA history. D’Angelo Russell also had a strong regular season, setting the franchise record for 3-pointers.

Injuries, inconsistent play and a mediocre defense paved the way for a difficult middle of the season. The Lakers went 3-10 during the holiday period immediately after the In-Season Tournament.

The Lakers were in the Play-In Tournament both seasons under Ham and, while he ultimately led them to the postseason both times, the West Finals run in 2022-23 raised the stakes considerably for L.A. this season.

James and Davis both hold player options this summer, which must be exercised by June 29. Overall, the Lakers have 11 players who are potential free agents this summer. James, Davis and the Lakers have failed to win a playoff round in three of their four seasons since winning the 2020 championship in the Florida bubble.

The Lakers hired Ham after firing Frank Vogel, who had been fired exactly 18 months after he won the 2020 NBA title. Vogel replaced Luke Walton after another long coaching search in which the Lakers were widely reported to have wanted Tyronn Lue, only for a deal to fall apart over issues with money and control.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.