‘Great mind’: One-time NBA champion endorses candidate for Lakers HC job

    JJ Redick is rumored to be a Los Angeles Lakers head-coaching candidate. He was recently a finalist in the Charlotte Hornet’s interview process, losing out to Charles Lee, who signed a deal with the franchise on Thursday.

    According to 14-year NBA veteran Matt Barnes, who spoke to TMZ at LAX airport, Redick deserves a shot on the sidelines. 

    “JJ’s a great mind, he definitely deserves a shot,” Barnes said. “That Lakers seat is always going to be a hot seat, and it’s always going to be a fall seat. So whoever takes it better be ready. Gotta have tough skin.”

    The Lakers are looking for a new head coach after firing Darvin Ham. The Denver Nuggets swept them in the opening round of the postseason, and Los Angeles also lost to them in the Western Conference finals last season. Whoever takes over will have significant expectations from day one.

    Rob Pelinka has constructed a roster expected to contend for a championship. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are two of the best players in the NBA. The Purple and Gold will undoubtedly believe they’re good enough to make the NBA Finals. Redick would enter the Lakers locker room as a rookie head coach. He may struggle to command the respect of the players at his disposal. 

    Redick’s friendship with James would likely earn him some grace within the locker room. Nevertheless, he would need to sink or swim based on merit, which means concocting a diverse and stringent scheme on both sides of the floor. Redick must also assert himself in a locker room full of veteran talent with plenty of experience. 

    Los Angeles’ options for a new head coach are limited. Mike Budenholzer has now joined the Phoenix Suns. There are few experienced candidates on the market. Redick will likely get an interview. Should he be hired, he won’t have much grace when it comes to learning on the job. 

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