Lakers News: Rob Pelinka ‘Thrilled’ To Introduce JJ Redick As Next Head Coach
Rob Pelinka, JJ Redick, Lakers
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Monday featured a new chapter of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise by introducing their new head coach JJ Redick.

This is certainly a risk for the Lakers, hiring another first-time head coach with now experience after parting ways with Darvin Ham.

However, Redick’s basketball knowledge has been on full display partly due to his two podcasts and being an analyst for ESPN, notably calling this year’s NBA Finals.

All things considered, the Lakers are hoping they are ahead of the curve by snagging Redick before he appears on other team’s radar. General manager Rob Pelinka expressed his pleasure to announce Redick as their next coach while pointing out some key characteristics.

“We are thrilled to introduce JJ Redick as the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers,” Pelinka said in a statement. “After a thoughtful and thorough search process, I couldn’t be more proud to welcome JJ, his wife Chelsea, and their two sons to the Lakers family. JJ is a fierce competitor and has an extraordinary basketball IQ and understanding of the modern game that will energize players and excite fans. His rigorous analysis will immediately unlock new opportunities for our roster while setting a foundation for player development over the long term. He brings an intense dedication to innovation, advancing the game and staying at the forefront of an ever-evolving league. Beyond his basketball acumen, JJ has a care for people and genuine empathy that are critical for connecting with players today. This is an exciting time for Lakers basketball.”

Pelinka then went on to speak more about Redick and why he was the right man for the job at the introductory press conference.

“Welcome, everybody. It’s an exciting day,” Pelinka started. “When we set out on the journey to name the next Lakers coach, we really had in mind concepts around innovation and challenging ourselves to be forward-thinking. I think in industry in general and in sports in specific, sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in patterns of being in a sea of sameness and doing the same thing that everybody else is doing. But when we embarked on this search, it was really important for us to see if we could do something a little bit different. And quickly in our conversations with JJ, it was very evident that he had a unique perspective and philosophy on basketball and how it’s to be taught. I think immediately when we sat down in Chicago at the combine, we shared a basketball philosophy that was very similar. And it was based on high-level strategy. It was based on a certain way of communicating with players and teaching them.

“And probably most importantly, prioritizing player development. For people in the room that study this new cap system that we’re now under an NBA, there’s a hard system with a first and second apron. And I could get into all the details, but at the core of that is going to be the importance of a great franchise like the Lakers modernizing and leaning into developing our young players and building that. And with players here like Max Christie and Jalen Hood-Schifino and Austin Reaves and Rui (Hachimura) and on and on, it became evident that one of JJ’s passions was bringing some of the incredible things he’s done in basketball thinking and in basketball content to player development as we build out that. And I think that’s gonna be something that’s really exciting for our fans to see is how we take a new and unique approach of Lakers excellence with player development and combining that with high-level strategy and high-level attention to detail on the basketball court with how we play, with how we’re organized, how we compete. And ultimately how we win. So a very, very proud moment for us today to introduce JJ Redick as our new head coach.”

Putting together an experienced coaching staff and a roster that fits his vision will help ease this transition for Redick. There will certainly be a learning curve, but by playing in the NBA for 15 years, Redick could rely on the knowledge he gained from iconic coaches that he played for during his career.

Nonetheless, Redick is taking on one of the most difficult coaching jobs in all of sports due to the Lakers’ historic standards. Yet, he has shown his competitive edge as a player and during his podcasts, so he would not take this job if he did not think he could succeed.

Stan Van Gundy is ‘natural target’ for JJ Redick’s coaching staff

A caveat to JJ Redick becoming L.A.’s next head coach is that he needs an experienced staff around him. One name being linked is a former head coach of his in Stan Van Gundy, who coached Redick during his time with the Orlando Magic. Van Gundy is someone who is viewed as a ‘natural target’ for Redick’s staff although it remains to be seen if he wants to get back into coaching.

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