Ex-NBA Player Predicts Lakers to Hire ESPN Analyst as Head Coach

Darvin Ham and Rob Pelinka talk

Getty Los Angeles Lakes head coach Darvin Ham (left) and vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka.

A new conspiracy theory floating around NBA circles involves LeBron James, JJ Redick and a podcast.

Former NBA player Rashad McCants suggested that James started a podcast with Redick so he could prepare the retired sharpshooter for life in coaching. With the Lakers expected to fire Darvin Ham following their 2024 playoff exit, McCants said the seeds have been planted for Redick to swoop in and assume the reins.

“JJ and LeBron start a podcast. JJ says he wants to be a coach. LeBron knows [Darvin Ham] and his days are numbered. JJ gets hired by the Lakers,” McCants said on the May 1 episode of the “Gil’s Arena” podcast. “LeBron is still a player; JJ gets to coach LeBron and bring in Bronny. The podcast thrives.”

McCants said he started believing in the wild theory after watching James and Redick discussing Xs and Os on their “Mind the Game” podcast.

“He’s coaching JJ to be the coach,” McCants said of James.

A Good Fit for the Lakers?

Redick — who played 15 seasons in the NBA — has earned praise from his peers and fans since he forayed into broadcasting. Even James has spoken highly of his basketball acumen, stressing that he and Redick study the game in a similar light.

After news broke of the duo starting a podcast, the Lakers star explained why he chose Redick as his co-host.

“When you have someone like JJ who has kind of the same mindset about the game of basketball — very smart, fell in love with the game for all the right reasons. This is something [starting a podcast] that I’ve been thinking about for quite a while. It’s just JJ was perfect timing,” James told Jovan Buha of The Athletic on March 24.

Will Redick emerge as a candidate for the Lakers job? As of May 2, Lakers assistant Phil Handy was the betting favorite to replace Ham.

JJ Redick a Finalist for Hornets Job

While it remains to be seen whether Redick auditions for the Lakers job, the former Duke star is already a finalist for the coaching vacancy in Charlotte.

According to Forbes’ Evan Sidery, Redick and Celtics lead assistant Charles Lee are among the two finalists to succeed incumbent Steve Clifford.

Despite being very active in the media space, Redick has reiterated his desire to become a coach in the NBA.

“I have a desire to coach in the NBA. Life is about timing, life is about the right situation,” Redick told “The Pivot” podcast on April 30. “So, I can’t say a when, and I can’t say a definite it’s going to happen. The ecosystem that I’ve built and worked for over the last three years, I take a lot of, I wouldn’t say pride because I don’t want to say it’s prideful, I take a lot of joy in this, and I love doing it, and it’s important to me.”

Redick averaged 12.8 points through 15 seasons in the NBA. In 2006, he won the prestigious College Player of the Year award for his exploits at Duke.

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