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As coaching interviews get underway, the Lakers meet with Sam Cassell, James Borrego, and JJ Redick: References
DENVER, Colorado – 26 OCT The Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets game at Ball Arena on October 26, 2022, in Denver, Colorado, is called by JJ Redick. (NOTE TO USER: By downloading and/or using this photograph, user consents to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. User acknowledges this. (Image courtesy of Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
By Shams Charania and Jovan Buha
May 21, 2024 128

According to league insiders who are not permitted to publicly discuss the situation, the Los Angeles Lakers have started interviewing potential candidates for their next coach.

These sources claim that over the past few days, the Lakers have formally met with JJ Redick, associate head coach James Borrego of the New Orleans Pelicans, and assistant coach Sam Cassell of the Boston Celtics. As they conduct due diligence on the applicant pool, team officials have scheduled meetings with assistant coaches David Adelman of the Denver Nuggets, Micah Nori of the Minnesota Timberwolves, and Chris Quinn of the Miami Heat.

Redick, a television commentator and former player, has generated excitement for the job throughout the league. League sources claim that the Lakers are enamored with Redick’s potential and see him as a Pat Riley-like coaching candidate who could lead the team for years and aid it in the near future. Riley, a nine-year NBA veteran as a player, began his career with the Lakers as a broadcaster in 1977 and worked his way up to assistant coach in 1979 and head coach in 1981.

LeBron James of the Lakers and Redick co-host the podcast Mind The Game, but James has stated that he will not be participating in the team’s coaching search.

Given their closeness, many have speculated that the Lakers could hire Redick to placate James. Rich Paul, the CEO of Klutch Sports, who represents James, stated on Monday that this is untrue.

“JJ Redick and LeBron James have a podcast together,” Paul said to The Athletic. James doesn’t necessarily want Redick to be his head coach, despite that.

James’s $51.4 million player option for the 2024–2025 campaign expires on June 29. The NBA’s all-time top scorer is anticipated to play for up to two more seasons, according to league sources who spoke with The Athletic. Both the opt-in and opt-out options are available.

The team sees Anthony Davis, who is 31 years old, as a better fit for the role of head coach than James, who will become 40 in December, as The Athletic has previously revealed. According to several people briefed on the situation, legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has developed into a well-liked unofficial resource for the Lakers during the hiring process. His extensive network of potential hires, including Redick, gives him insight into the type of culture the team is looking for as well as the qualities of a potential coaching staff.

According to league insiders, Davis and Borrego, with whom he briefly overlapped in New Orleans during the summer before his rookie season, have recently struck up a solid connection.

According to numerous league and team sources, the Lakers are taking a systematic approach to the hiring process and are looking for a coach who can oversee the locker room, hold players accountable, diligently plan games, and provide some structure and order.

Following Darvin Ham’s firing earlier this month, Los Angeles is currently looking for a new coach. The Lakers lost to the Denver Nuggets in the opening round of the playoffs after finishing the season with a 47-35 record.

The squad finished 90-74 in the regular season and 9-12 in the postseason under Ham’s leadership.

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