NBA Champion Wants ESPN Analyst As Next Lakers Coach

Anthony Davis, LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Getty Anthony Davis #3 and LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Former NBA Champion Kendrick Perkins is ready to see his ESPN broadcast colleague JJ Redick ascend to the seat of Lakers head coach.

But Perkins has one particular stipulation.

“JJ Redick knows the game of basketball from an Xs and Os standpoint. But the one thing that I feel JJ Redick is gonna have to do is lose that snobby Duke attitude,” Perkins said on the May 20 episode of “NBA Today” on ESPN.

“Going into that locker room, it’s one thing to have a high basketball IQ, and [to] know your Xs and Os, but it’s another thing to make sure you gather the ears of that locker room.”

Perkins then cited others who transitioned from a different line of work to coaching, outlining the importance of winning over the locker room. Redick, who has never coached at any pro level, is trying to become the latest to transition from broadcasting to a coaching seat.

“So many coaches talk about their transition period. We watched it with Gregg Popovich and Rick Carlisle — they had to adjust. And we’re talking about championship coaches,” Perkins said.

Is JJ Redick the Next Pat Riley?

If Redick were to land a job as an NBA head coach, his career would follow a similar trajectory as that of legendary Pat Riley. Much like Riley, the current team president of the Miami Heat, Redick would be morphing from a player to a broadcaster to a coach. The similarities were outlined by The Athletic’s Jovan Buha and Shams Charania on May 21.

“Leaguewide, Redick — a former player and media analyst — has garnered buzz for the [Lakers coaching] position. 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 Athletic’s May 21 article further noted that the Lakers interviewed Redick earlier in the week. The franchise also held “formal meetings” with other candidates such as Pelicans associate head coach James Borrego and Celtics assistant coach Sam Cassell.

Lakers Doing Due Diligence on Coaching Search

Following their meetings with Redick, Borrego and Cassell, the Lakers are reportedly expected to interview other candidates such as Nuggets assistant David Adelman, Timberwolves assistant Micah Nori and Heat assistant Chris Quinn.

As of May 21, Redick was the heavy betting favorite (-140) to succeed Darvin Ham as the next Lakers coach, per Draft Kings Sportsbook.

Even as all signs point to the Lakers hiring Redick, LeBron James is reportedly not the one campaigning for his podcast co-host to get the job.

“He’s had no conversions with the Lakers about JJ Redick, his podcast partner,” NBA insider Shams Charania said on the May 20 episode of “Run it Back” on FanDuel TV. “He’s had no conversations with JJ about that position as well. I did speak to Rich Paul [James’ agent] this morning [May 20], and he said LeBron and JJ do a podcast together, that does not mean LeBron wants JJ Redick as his head coach.”

The Lakers will reportedly finalize their next head coach at some point before the June 26-27 NBA Draft.

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