Los Angeles Lakers hire 39-year-old newcomer JJ Redick as head coach, sources say

Redick replaces Darvin Ham, who was fired in May days after the team was eliminated from the playoffs in the first round.
JJ Redick
Posted at 3:12 PM, Jun 20, 2024

The Los Angeles Lakers have found their new head coach in JJ Redick.

Sources told ESPN and The Associated Press the team signed the 39-year-old to his first coaching job with a four-year contract Thursday after interviewing took place over the weekend and into this week.

Redick became a front-runner in the team's search for a new coach after UConn coach Dan Hurley reportedly rejected a six-year, $70 million offer last week, per ESPN. Sources told the publication Lakers vice president and general manager Rob Pelinka then solidified Redick for the position due to his knowledge of the sport, his "ability to connect with players" and Pelinka's belief that he'll shine with the support of the team's other coaching staff.

But it'll be a tall mountain for Redick to climb, with no coaching experience to lean on as the player-turned-broadcaster leads one of the most successful teams in NBA history and potentially one of the best players of all time, LeBron James, as he decides whether to return for a 22nd NBA season.

The pair do already have a business partnership after they began co-hosting the "Mind the Game" podcast together two months ago, but it remains to be seen whether this will cause a shift in their relationship or if it will improve the chances that James signs on for another year. The league's top scorer currently faces a June 29 deadline to decide if he'll accept or decline a $51.5 million player option and become a free agent.

Redick retired from playing basketball in 2021 after four years of college ball at Duke, where the three-point star holds the all-time scoring record, and 15 seasons in the NBA: seven with the Orlando Magic — which selected him as the 11th overall draft pick in 2006 — a short run with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2013, four seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers, two one-year contracts with the Philadelphia 76ers starting in 2017, two years with the New Orleans Pelicans and finally wrapping up his career with the Dallas Mavericks in 2021.

Following his retirement from playing, Redick became an on-air analyst, most recently as part of ESPN's lead broadcast team and calling the NBA Finals with Mike Breen and Doris Burke.

He's also lent his voice to multiple podcasts beyond the one with James. Redick's first podcast was in 2016 with Yahoo! Sports, when he became the first active NBA player to host one. He then headed multiple podcasts on the network and others before launching "The Old Man and the Three," which he currently co-hosts with Tommy Alter. The show began in 2020 under the launch of Redick's media company, ThreeFourTwo Productions.

Redick's hiring comes seven weeks after the Lakers fired Darvin Ham, who led the team for two seasons. Ham was let go with two more years on his contract days after the Lakers were eliminated from the playoffs in the first round.

Redick will now be the Lakers' fourth coach since James signed his four-year contract in 2018 and its eighth since Phil Jackson — who helped the team win five titles and is considered one of the greatest coaches of all time — left in 2011.

Related Stories: