Los Angeles Lakers: Pros and Cons of Hiring JJ Redick

Hiring JJ Redick
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It’s no secret that JJ Redick was not the Lakers first choice. When it’s all said and done however the important thing is making the right choice. Is Redick the right choice for the Lakers? I asked Steve Purciello on a recent 13 Rules Podcast if Redick was the new Pat Riley or the next Darvin Ham. Knowing what we know about Redick’s coaching abilities (which is not much at all) it could go either way. Knowing what we know about the Lakers, his tenure has to learn closer to Riley’s than Ham’s. And it needs to learn that way quickly.

This is not a franchise known for their patience with coaches. Or players, for that matter.

So, when faced with a great unknown I decided to do what most of us are doing in 2024, I asked AI! Here at thePeachBasket we don’t fear artificial intelligence. In fact, we intend to use it and bring out all its glory while highlighting its flaws. As time goes on AI will be all glory and no flaw – get ready human! With that in mind, I asked it for it’s thoughts on the pros and cons of the latest Los Angeles Lakers hire. Here are it’s thoughts in italics alongside my own.

Pros of Hiring JJ Redick

Hiring JJ Redick

High Basketball IQ: Redick is known for his intelligent play on the court and insightful commentary. He could potentially translate that into effective offensive schemes and adjustments during games.

Every indication seems to be that this is true; Redick has a high basketball IQ. He played for one of the greatest coaches of all time in Mike Krzyzewski and regularly goes deep into the basketball weeds alongside his podcast co-host (who’s name escapes me at the moment). Do you want your coach to have a high basketball IQ, yes! Does that in any way guarantee success coaching at the NBA level, no way Jose.

Fresh Perspective: As a first-time coach, Redick wouldn’t be bogged down by traditional coaching methods. He could bring new ideas and approaches to the Lakers.

This feels like a negative (no experience) masquerading as a positive. Given the choice (which the Lakers had and made) they would have preferred a coach with experience. But sure, they can “mold” Redick in a way and he may have new “outside the box” ideas. Fingers crossed Lakers Nation!

Player Relationships: Redick’s recent playing career and current media presence could help him build strong relationships with the Lakers players, especially younger ones.

This is something that came up in the recent introduction press conference. The Lakers made the point they brought in Redick for the young players. It seems to me however that while his recent playing career and media savvy might make it easier to connect with younger players, there is more to coaching success than connecting with players. Monty Williams seemed to connect well with his players and you know what happened to him.

LeBron James Connection: Their existing rapport through their podcast could create a smoother working dynamic for coach and star player.

If I were grading each pro on a sale of 1 to 10, this one would get a 1. First, while it is most likely, there is no guarantee that LeBron James will be on the Lakers in the 2024-25 NBA season. Second, as others have pointed out, while it may help his camaraderie with James, it may have the opposite effect with the other players.

Cons of Hiring JJ Redick

Hiring JJ Redick

Lack of Coaching Experience: This is the biggest hurdle. Redick has never coached professionally, and the jump from player to head coach is significant. There will likely be a learning curve with growing pains.

Agreed. No notes.

Managing Stars: Coaching LeBron James and potentially other big personalities requires a firm hand and strong communication skills. It’s unclear if Redick has the experience to navigate that effectively.

Lack of experience 2.0.

Pressure of the Lakers: The Lakers organization is under immense scrutiny from fans and media. Redick will face intense pressure to win immediately, which could be overwhelming for a first-time coach.

In short, the move from player to coach is significant. The move from coaching say, the Utah Jazz over the LA Lakers is also significant. Keep in mind that the last two coaches who had the job made it to the Western Conference Finals and beyond. One even won the whole thing. Both were fired.

Building a Staff: Redick will need to surround himself with experienced assistant coaches to fill in the gaps of his own experience. Finding the right staff is crucial for success.

This is a great point! Humility has to be a part of the decision process here. Redick has to see the value of bringing in assistants who have what he does not, experience. That can be intimidating if you aren’t comfortable enough in your own skin. This could turn into a pro if Redick makes the right picks!

Conclusion

Overall, hiring JJ Redick is a gamble for the Lakers. His high basketball IQ and potential for fresh ideas are intriguing, but the lack of coaching experience is a major concern. The success of this hire will likely depend heavily on the quality of his coaching staff and his ability to manage the pressure and expectations of the Lakers organization.

Agreed. Some have called this hire high-risk, high-reward. I see it more as low-risk, high-reward. If Redick is more Luke Walton than Phil Jackson the Lakers will move on and feel good about giving a sought after hire his chance. If Redick is the second coming of Pat Riley and not Magic Johnson (the coach, not the player) then the Lakers will no doubt enjoy the accolades. The biggest risk of course is the feeling that they may be wasting LeBron James final season(s). That alone does move the needle closer to the high risk side.

At least the Lakers have a coach in place. Now the draft and the important job of building the team that Redick will coach next season. Enjoy the ride Laker Nation!

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