‘It’s a death sentence’: LeBron’s former teammate thinks J.J. Redick would be jumping on grenade with Lakers job

Jesse Cinquini
3 Min Read

A former teammate of Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James on the Cleveland Cavaliers in Channing Frye seemingly doesn’t want to see J.J. Redick take the Lakers’ coaching job.

The Lakers fired Darvin Ham after the iconic franchise was eliminated by the Denver Nuggets in five games in the opening round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs.

The first-round series wasn’t highly competitive, as the Lakers’ only win during the best-of-seven series came in Game 4, when Los Angeles was staring at an 0-3 hole.

In the 2023 NBA Playoffs, Ham and the Lakers were also eliminated by the Nuggets, but Los Angeles managed to reach the Western Conference Finals before its season came to an end. The Lakers beat the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors in the first two rounds of the playoffs before getting swept by Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and the Nuggets.

After Ham’s Lakers were eliminated by the Nuggets in consecutive seasons, Los Angeles decided it was time to hire a new head coach, and Boston Celtics assistant coach Sam Cassell as well as former Charlotte Hornets head coach James Borrego are among the candidates to replace Ham along with Redick, according to Shams Charania.

It seems as though Redick has separated himself from the rest of the candidates, as NBA insider Marc Stein recently reported that the Lakers job is essentially Redick’s to lose.

Cassell has served as an assistant coach at the NBA level for more than a decade. Before joining Boston’s coaching staff — a franchise he won a title with as a player back in 2008 — ahead of the 2023-24 campaign, he spent time with the Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Clippers and Philadelphia 76ers.

Borrego, on the other hand, is currently an associate head coach with the New Orleans Pelicans organization and has 331 games of experience as a head coach in the NBA under his belt, including 301 games with the Hornets and 30 with the Orlando Magic.

Who the Lakers will choose to be their next head coach is unclear at this time, but Frye hinted at the notion that Cassell and Borrego would be better fits to lead the team than Redick, who has zero coaching experience at the NBA level to his name.

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Jesse is a sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA. He has worked as a staff writer covering the Lakers’ dreaded rivals, the Boston Celtics, for SB Nation. He has also covered the New York Knicks for The Knicks Wall.