Lakers Think JJ Redick Is a 'Pat Riley-Like' Head Coaching Prospect, per Report

The franchise interviewed Redick along with Sam Cassell and James Borrego in its first series of formal interviews.
Jan 17, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; The Los Angeles Lakers logo at center court at the
Jan 17, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; The Los Angeles Lakers logo at center court at the / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Lakers' search for a new head coach is fully underway and Tuesday morning brought reports of the franchise's first official interviews. It also brought a rather interesting tidbit of information that casts a different light on one of the top candidates for the job.

Shams Charania and Jovan Buha reported for The Athletic that the Lakers had officially interviewed JJ Redick, Sam Cassell, and James Borrego to replace Darvin Ham on the sideline. All three individuals had been linked to the job in prior reports so the report as a whole did not come as a surprise.

What did come as a surprise was the added note that the Lakers "are infatuated with Redick’s potential, according to league sources, viewing him as a Pat Riley-like coaching prospect who could both help the franchise in the short term and lead it for years."

Well... no pressure on Redick, right? All the Lakers think is that he could become the second-most successful coach in franchise history and one of the key figures that helped shape modern basketball as the world knows it. The winner of seven NBA titles, both on the bench and in the front office. One of the most well-known figures in the basketball world. Played by Adrien Brody on HBO. There are definitely no expectations to live up to there. None at all!

It is a pretty absurd comparison to make. Riley won over 1,000 games as an NBA head coach, a mark only nine other coaches have reached in the history of the league. It's one thing to believe Redick possesses great potential. It's quite another to believe he can go down as one of the greatest coaches ever. And that's before getting into how smart it really is for anybody to be throwing those comparisons around enough that it ends up reaching the ears of the public.

The Lakers job is always going to be under a microscope and expectations for every year are sky-high no matter the context. These truths will be even more apparent for this particular hire given the short window available to capitalize on LeBron James' final seasons. But no favors are done by comparing any candidate to the second-most important coach in the history of the league's most prestigious franchise.

Liam McKeone


Liam McKeone is a Senior Writer for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. In addition to his role as a writer, he collaborates with other teams across Minute Media to help define his team’s content strategy. He has been in the industry as a content creator since 2017, and prior to joining SI in 2024, Liam worked for NBC Sports Boston and The Big Lead. In addition to his work as a writer, he has hosted the Press Pass Podcast covering sports media and The Big Stream covering pop culture. A graduate of Fordham University, Liam is always up for a good debate and enjoys loudly arguing about sports, rap music, books, and video games. Liam has been a member of the National Sports Media Association (NSMA) since 2020.