Lakers’ JJ Redick press conference literally drew groans during LeBron James comment

J.J. Redick had no previous head coaching experience outside of leading his 9-year-old son’s team, but that didn’t stop the Los Angeles Lakers from giving them their head coaching job. The Lakers formally introduced Redick during a press conference on Monday afternoon after a drawn out coaching search that included a brief infatuation with UConn’s Danny Hurley.

In the end, Redick seemed like he was always the man for the job, mostly because of his existing relationship with LeBron James. Redick and James started the podcast “Mind the Game” earlier this year when they would break down X’s and O’s for fans. The podcast earned widespread acclaim for providing an inside look at the brain of one of the best players of all-time. It did not, according to Redick, give him a leg up for the Lakers job.

Redick was asked what advice James gave him during the Lakers coaching search. His answer? “He didn’t provide any advice,” Redick said. “LeBron and I did not talk about the Lakers job until Thursday afternoon, about 30 minutes after I was offered the job.”

That seems incredibly difficult to believe. One person even the room even loudly groaned as Redick said it.

It’s surprising that someone as media savvy as Redick would make that comment. It’s the type of statement Redick would make fun of if he was still in media, and another former player closer to James had said it. In fairness, Redick did get other coaching interviews during this cycle, but it sure feels like his existing relationship with James gave him the edge in the Lakers’ search.

That wasn’t the only cringeworthy moment from Redick’s press conference. At one point, top Lakers executive Rob Pelinka mentioned talking to Redick about “gameifying” player development. “We’ve talked about how we translate Redick’s offensive system to an app-based or phone-based deliverable,” Pelinka said. Someone really should have groaned during that part, too.

Some fans have been wondering if Redick and James would continue their podcast while leading the Lakers. Obviously, that was never going to happen.

“I am excommunicated from the content space,” Redick said. Somehow this was the most normal thing said during this press conference.

The Lakers job is enormously difficult. The Western Conference is loaded, James turns 40 years old this season, and the fanbase demands excellence every year. Making a shocking run to the Western Conference Finals as a No. 7 seed didn’t save Darvin Ham, and Redick has his work cut out for him just to get that far.

Good luck to Redick. If James didn’t help him land this summer, he sure needs to help him keep it by continuing to stay healthy and play like one of the best in the world.

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