National Basketball Association
Did the Lakers make a mistake hiring JJ Redick over Monty Williams?
National Basketball Association

Did the Lakers make a mistake hiring JJ Redick over Monty Williams?

Updated Jun. 20, 2024 7:03 p.m. ET

JJ Redick has reportedly agreed to a four-year deal to become the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The hiring of Redick comes after UConn coach Dan Hurley turned down a reported six-year, $70 million offer from the Lakers earlier this month. The organization fired Darvin Ham on May 3 after two seasons.

Redick, who has no prior coaching experience, played in the NBA for 15 seasons (2006-21) and is widely known for his strong 3-point shooting. He embarked on a broadcasting career during his time in the NBA, starting a podcast during the bubble season in 2020 and before becoming part of ESPN's lead broadcasting crew during the 2023-24 season after retiring from his playing career.

The Charlotte Hornets reportedly considered Redick for a coaching vacancy earlier this offseason.


FOX Sports' Chris Broussard expressed his discontentment with the Lakers' decision to hire Redick on Thursday's edition of "First Things First," saying the organization missed a great opportunity to bring in a better fit.

"I think they should have looked at Monty Williams," Broussard said. "Other people talked about it and the timing — if it was a little different. Why? You waited this long, and you would like to have a coach before the draft. But this draft pick for the Lakers is not essential to have a head coach in place."

Williams was most recently the head coach of the Detroit Pistons before being fired after one season. 

"They tried to hire Monty a few years ago before he went to Phoenix," Broussard added. "I know it didn't work out in Detroit. Anthony Davis had a great relationship with Monty Williams when he was in New Orleans … At least interview him. Consider him. See what he would do with the team before you go out and make this hire.

"Will he coach LeBron [James]? Cause on the podcast he does push back a little bit. So maybe he would coach LeBron and do what they need, but it's just a complete question mark."

Nick Wright shared Broussard's sentiment, saying there's a lot of uncertainty about what Redick can do for the Lakers. 

"It would be unfair of me to say JJ Redick is not going to be a good NBA head coach, just like it would be unfair of me to say that he is going to be a good NBA head coach," Wright said. "He is being hired with as thin of a coaching résumé as any coach that has ever taken the job in modern NBA history. To [have] never [been] a part of an NBA staff, front office, coach at a big-time high school — let alone college — you couldn't have a thinner coaching résumé. 

"There is nothing to judge it on other than vibes and guess. My biggest concern with JJ is he appears to me to be … very aware of criticism of himself. I think that can be a real detriment if you're the head coach of a basketball team — head coach of the Lakers more so than anything."

JJ Redick agrees to four-year deal to serve as Lakers' next head coach

"Just because you want to do a podcast with a guy, [that] is not, to me, evidence that you want him to be your head coach," Wright added when discussing whether it's fair to say that James was in favor of hiring Redick because of their off-court business ventures. "This idea that they are doing this to please LeBron assumes, ‘This is what LeBron wants.’ The one piece of info that we do have definitively is [that] when they were interviewing Dan Hurley, LeBron reached out to Dan to tell him he would have his support and his buy-in if he were there.

"[LeBron] has not chimed in with the Lakers front office. He is staying out of it. We know that he voiced his endorsement to another guy — the other guy. … I just think people are assuming that because LeBron likes JJ doing the podcast with him, that he likes that idea of playing for him."

James and Redick host a weekly podcast, "Mind The Game," on James' multimedia platform Uninterrupted, with the first episode being published earlier this year in mid-March. 

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