Pelicans’ Larry Nance Jr. Doesn’t Believe First-Time Head Coach Is Right Answer For Lakers
Larry Nance Jr., Rui Hachimura, Lakers, Pelicans
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers’ head coaching search experienced quite the rollercoaster last weekend when the team met with UConn head coach Dan Hurley.

Hurley wasn’t previously on the list of candidates for the position, but the Lakers made a concerted push to land him. However, the reported deal on the table wasn’t enough for Hurley to leave the Huskies which leaves Los Angeles back to the beginning of their search.

ESPN analyst JJ Redick is scheduled to formally interview for the head coaching job this weekend, though other candidates like James Borrego and Sam Cassell remain in the mix. At this point, though, it feels like Redick’s job to lose again barring another unforeseen development.

With a veteran-laden team headlined by LeBron James and Anthony Davis, a first-time head coach like Redick would face immense pressure to win which is why New Orleans Pelicans big man Larry Nance Jr. believes the right path is a more experienced head coach, via FanDuel TV’s Run It Back:

“Personally, I think a first-time head coach is not the answer. The L.A. market is really hard if you’ve never dealt with something like that before. Obviously, you miss a shot you’re the next fill in the blank. You miss a shot you should’ve never picked up a basketball in your life. It’s tough. I think you probably need an established coach but I can’t necessarily put a name out there for that. You need someone with clout.”

Nance brings up a good point about the Los Angeles market as the fanbase is ruthless and won’t stand for anything less than championships. For example, even though former Lakers head coach Darvin Ham made two playoff appearances, including making it to the Western Conference Finals last season, he was quickly ousted after a letdown year in the 2023-24 season.

Ham had more coaching experience than Redick but still found himself kicked to the curb, so it’s hard to imagine how much better Redick can fare. However, the other options aren’t quite as appealing either which means the Lakers might need to gamble on someone like Redick for the upside.

JJ Redick understands and accepts Lakers’ pursuit of Dan Hurley

Dan Hurley’s name being linked to the Lakers job was a surprise for everyone, including JJ Redick who was seen as the frontrunner for the role. Although Redick would justifiably be irked at L.A.’s public pursuit of Hurley, he reportedly understood and accepted the situation.

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