Report: LeBron James has taken clear stance on Lakers coaching search

Jesse Cinquini
4 Min Read
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is not participating in the team’s search for a new head coach, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

“I’m told LeBron James is not involved in the Lakers’ head coaching search,” Charania said. “I’ve reported on it last week. J.J. Redick, James Borrego, Sam Cassell are the lead initial targets. But LeBron James has made it clear. This is the organization’s decision. He’s had no conversations with the Lakers about J.J. Redick, his podcast partner. He’s had no conversations with J.J. about that position as well. I did speak to Rich Paul this morning. He said, ‘LeBron James and J.J. Redick, they do a podcast together. That does not mean that he wants J.J. Redick as his head coach.’ But he’s leaving it up to the organization. We’ll see what LeBron James decides for his future.”

L.A. has reportedly zeroed in on Redick as its next head coach. Some around the NBA are apparently “scratching their heads” at the idea of the team hiring Redick.

The Lakers are looking for a head coach to replace Darvin Ham, who spent the last two seasons leading the storied franchise from the sidelines.

Ham’s brief tenure as the head coach of the iconic organization was full of ups and downs. He coached the Lakers to a 90-74 regular-season record and two playoff appearances.

The Lakers enjoyed significantly more success in the 2023 NBA Playoffs under Ham than they did in the 2024 NBA Playoffs. In 2023, Los Angeles reached the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2020 and eliminated the Memphis Grizzlies — who finished the regular season as the No. 2 seed in the conference — as well as the defending champions in the Golden State Warriors in order to reach that stage.

While the Lakers did get swept by the Denver Nuggets in the conference finals, the season was still considered by some to be a success for a team that had to fight its way through the play-in tournament to even qualify for the playoffs.

In the 2024 NBA Playoffs, the Lakers had a chance to exact their revenge against the Nuggets in the first round, but Los Angeles was once again thoroughly outclassed. One of the few silver linings from the Lakers’ first-round exit was that, unlike the 2023 Western Conference Finals, Los Angeles was on the receiving end of a gentleman’s sweep rather than a clean sweep.

If it weren’t for the play of James — who reportedly is not involved in the Lakers’ coaching search — in Game 4, perhaps Los Angeles would have been swept by Denver for the second year in a row. The 39-year-old logged just under 39 minutes of action and finished with 30 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals and one block on 14-of-23 shooting from the floor.

Hopefully, whoever the Lakers decide to be their newest head coach — whether it’s Redick, Borrego, Cassell or somebody else — will help put the team in a position to win its 18th title in franchise history in 2025.

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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.