Report: Lakers think J.J. Redick could be like Pat Riley, are ‘infatuated’ with his potential

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly view J.J Redick as a “Pat Riley-like coaching prospect,” according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Jovan Buha.

“Leaguewide, Redick — a former player and media analyst — has garnered buzz for the position,” Charania and Buha wrote. “The Lakers are infatuated with Redick’s potential, according to league sources, viewing him as a Pat Riley-like coaching prospect who could both help the franchise in the short term and lead it for years.”

The Lakers have formally met with Redick, James Borrego and Sam Cassell as they look to fill their head coaching vacancy this offseason.

It was recently reported by Lakers Daily’s Anthony Irwin that the Lakers were zeroing in on Redick as their next head coach.

Redick – if he were to be hired – would replace Darvin Ham after the Lakers fired him following their first-round exit in the playoffs this season. Los Angeles lost in five games to the No. 2-seeded Denver Nuggets after earning the No. 7 seed in the West by way of the play-in tournament.

As the Lakers’ head coach, Ham compiled a 90-74 record in the regular season and 9-12 mark in the playoffs. The Lakers are just 1-8 in their last two playoff series (both against Denver).

To compare Redick to a coaching legend like Riley certainly is something, especially since Riley won five NBA titles as a head coach, including four in Los Angeles.

While Redick has never held a coaching position at the NBA level, he did have a lengthy NBA career where he became one of the best 3-point shooters in the league.

Riley became the Lakers’ head coach in the 1981-82 season, and he promptly led the franchise to an NBA title. The Lakers either made the Finals or won the title in six of the next seven seasons under Riley, who compiled a 533-194 regular season record in Los Angeles.

After his time with the Lakers came to an end, Riley coached the New York Knicks and Miami Heat, taking the Knicks to the Finals in the 1993-94 season. He didn’t win a title in New York, but he did lead the Heat to one during the 2005-06 season.

During his head coaching career, Riley – who is now the president of the Heat – missed the playoffs just three times.

If Redick can have anywhere close to the same success as Riley, the Lakers should be set for years to come if they end up hiring him.

Los Angeles is hoping to maximize the final years of LeBron James’ career, and it’s possible that Redick, who hosts a podcast with James where the two talk about the game of basketball, could be the right man for the job.

It’ll be interesting to see which other candidates the Lakers meet with as they narrow down their head coaching search this offseason.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.