Youth Movement: Duke Basketball Legend Becomes Lakers Head Man

Eighteen years after wrapping up his prolific Duke basketball career, JJ Redick continues to reach new heights as a professional.
Duke basketball guard JJ Redick
Duke basketball guard JJ Redick / Pouya Dianat
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On Monday night, Boston Celtics 35-year-old Joe Mazzulla became the youngest head coach to win an NBA championship in the past 56 years. Three days later, it looks as though the Los Angeles Lakers, now needing one more title to catch Boston's 18 for the all-time most, have followed the Celtics' lead, in a sense, by securing 39-year-old Duke basketball product JJ Redick as their next head coach.

ALSO READ: List of Duke's All-Time NBA Champions

As ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported on Thursday afternoon, the Lakers "have agreed to a four-year contract with JJ Redick."

Outside of his children's youth leagues, the Blue Devils' all-time scoring leader, a former 15-year NBA sharpshooter, has never been a coach — not even an assistant.

Wojnarowski explained why the Lakers, rejected by reigning back-to-back UConn national champion Dan Hurley last week, ultimately decided to hire JJ Redick, fresh off working the NBA Finals as an analyst:

"[Redick] met with Lakers vice president and general manager Rob Pelinka and owner Jeanie Buss over the weekend, and conversations on the vacancy continued throughout the week, sources said. Pelinka offered Redick the job Thursday morning...Pelinka became sold on Redick's ability to connect with players and his basketball IQ and believes surrounding Redick with an elite coaching staff will help shorten his learning curve into his first coaching job."

Of course, as Wojnarowski added, it's also worth noting that "Redick has a strong relationship with Lakers star LeBron James, with whom he co-hosts a basketball podcast."

JJ Redick, celebrating his 40th birthday on Monday, becomes the second active NBA head coach among Duke basketball alums, joining Atlanta Hawks 57-year-old Quin Snyder.

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Matt Giles


Matt Giles is the editor and publisher of FanNation's Blue Devil Country and All Tar Heels, covering the Duke Blue Devils and UNC Tar Heels on