Magic Johnson Weighs in on Lakers Hiring JJ Redick As Coach

Magic Johnson at the Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers at Arena.
Magic Johnson at the Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers at Arena. / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
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The Los Angeles Lakers and JJ Redick have reportedly reached an agreement to make the former sharpshooter the franchise's next head coach.

It's a move that's been widely speculated upon throughout the offseason, and now one of the all-time Lakers greats has weighed in on Los Angeles' latest hire.

Magic Johnson took to X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday evening in order to share his thoughts on Redick as the next coach of the Purple and Gold, while also touching on the direction of the franchise.

"I’m cautiously optimistic that this new hire is a success for both the Lakers and JJ Redick," he wrote. "I enjoyed watching him as a player–great 3-point shooting, high basketball IQ, passion for the game, and mental and physical toughness. If he can bring how he played professionally to the Lakers–this could work out! But will his transition from star basketball player to head coach end up like Steve Kerr, Jason Kidd, Ty Lue, or Doc Rivers or the former NBA players turned coaches who weren’t successful?"

Redick played 15 seasons in the NBA, making a name for himself as one of the league's all-time great three-point shooters. He's since featured on ESPN's NBA coverage and operates a successful podcast with none other than Lakers star LeBron James. The gig in L.A. is his first head coaching job in any capacity, let alone in the NBA.

While Johnson admitted to having optimism about Redick as the Lakers' coach, touting his knowledge of the game and passion for it, he noted that the front office has plenty more to do if they want to contend with the top teams in the conference.

"Naming a head coach was just the first step. Even bigger than naming JJ Reddick as the Head Coach, Rob Pelinka's next step must be to improve the roster if we are going to compete against all the powerhouse teams in the West like the Nuggets, Timberwolves, Mavericks, Suns, Thunder, Spurs, and the Clippers," he added.

Karl Rasmussen


Karl Rasmussen is a staff writer for the Breaking and Trending News team for Sports Illustrated. A University of Oregon alum who joined SI in February 2023, his work has appeared on 12up and ClutchPoints. Rasmussen is a loyal Tottenham, Jets, Yankees and Ducks fan.