JJ Redick recognized his lack of experience during his introduction as Lakers’ new coach

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JJ Redick finally made his way into the NBA coaching world as he was officially introduced by the Lakers on Monday. However, the new purple and gold tactician wasn’t going to get through this press conference without addressing the big elephant in the room: his inexperience as a head coach. 

However, it was the league’s television analyst who was quick to mention this fundamental omission on his résumé. “I have never coached in the NBA before,” Redick stated the obvious to get it out of the way. “I don’t know if you guys have heard that.”

JJ, who happened to turn 40 years of age right on his first day on the job, retired from his 15-year career back in 2021. His time as a basketball player really took off when he became a star at Duke University and eventually was drafted by the Orlando Magic in 2006. He went onto score the 20th-most three-pointers in NBA history.

Through the years, he remained connected to basketball through several media outlets like ESPN and ABC, and even his own podcast called Mind the Game co-hosting alongside LeBron James, who is now his pupil.

Alongside him was the team’s vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka, who supported Redick by explaining that “NBA head-coaching experience and NBA experience aren’t mutually exclusive things.” According to the VP, the former shooting guard will be given the shot to be a very innovative leader.

“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,” Pelinka said during the introduction. “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.”

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Redick agreed to a four-year deal last week, after UConn men’s basketball coach Dan Hurley turned down a six-year, $70 million offer from the Lakers. “During that whole [courtship of Hurley], at no point was my ego or feelings hurt or bruised in any way,” JJ said. “Dan Hurley is a two-time national champion at UConn. I am a two-time 55 Swish League champion in the third- and fourth-grade division. Like, I understood, you know? I understood.”

Redick revealed that it was Rick Carlisle who “planted the seed” in him to consider coaching and then again during a Raptors interview

According to the 15-year NBA career player, he never really considered being a coach until Rick Carlisle, who trained him in Dallas, “planted the seed” for him to consider this line of work. However, it wasn’t until the Toronto franchise called him up for an interview for a coaching position last year, that he truly opened up to the idea.

“It was really after I interviewed for the Toronto job last year that I knew that I wanted to be a head coach in the NBA,” Redick shared. “And so the last year, I spent a lot of time talking to coaches, talking with GMs, picking their brains. … I just felt like this is what I’m supposed to be doing.”

As for his podcast with LeBron, which just made its debut three months ago, will have to be suspended. The oldest player in the NBA, who has referred to JJ as his “friend,” decided to maintain his distance during his interview process.

“For the time being, and hopefully it’s a very, very long time, I am excommunicated from the content space,” Redick assured, clear that his only objectives are to win titles in Los Angeles. “So there will be no podcast. … I’m done with podcasting for now.”