Lakers Coaching Prospect Defended by LeBron James Amid Cowherd's Critique

JJ Redick's coaching aspirations spark widespread media debate.

by Faizan Chaudhary
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Lakers Coaching Prospect Defended by LeBron James Amid Cowherd's Critique
© Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James recently stood up for JJ Redick, his co-host on the "Mind the Game" podcast and a prospective candidate to replace Darvin Ham as Lakers head coach. This defense came in response to sports commentator Colin Cowherd's critique on Fox Sports' "The Herd with Colin Cowherd." Cowherd expressed his distaste for Redick's casual attire during the podcast, specifically his choice of wearing a backward hat.

"I don’t love the backward hat for JJ Redick," Cowherd remarked. "I couldn’t stop staring at the hat. He looks like a guy that’s going to move my couch." In a witty retort, Redick responded to Cowherd’s criticism on X (formerly Twitter), posting "LOL" (laugh out loud) alongside the clip from Cowherd's show.

LeBron James joined the online exchange, highlighting photos of Utah Jazz owner Ryan Smith and Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd, both donning backward hats during press conferences. "He really doesn’t like your [hat emoticon] JJ!!!

I wonder if these two are okay. They have damn good jobs, I believe," James quipped.

Coaching Carousel Heats Up

The conversation around Redick’s potential as a coach has intensified, especially after the Phoenix Suns reportedly neared a deal with former Milwaukee Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer.

Additionally, the Charlotte Hornets opted for Boston Celtics assistant coach Charles Lee over Redick, who was a finalist for the position. This coaching carousel began spinning shortly after the Lakers dismissed Ham on May 3, with names like Kenny Atkinson, Tyronn Lue, and Redick emerging as early contenders, according to The Athletic.

Cowherd, despite his criticism of Redick’s style, praised his basketball intellect. "He’s one of the most cerebral guys talking basketball. Literally, he’s so layered beyond... He’s directing at a different level," Cowherd extolled.

He even likened Redick's analytical approach to basketball to Christopher Nolan's directorial depth in Hollywood. While Cowherd emphasized the importance of looking the part for a leadership role, he acknowledged Redick's potential to follow in the footsteps of figures like Steve Kerr, who transitioned from player to commentator to highly successful NBA coach.

This acknowledgment comes as Kerr secured a lucrative $35 million, two-year extension with the Golden State Warriors, underscoring his influence and success in the league. Meanwhile, the Lakers are still reportedly in the preliminary stages of their coaching search, considering a broad spectrum of candidates.

The Los Angeles Times' Dan Woike suggested that the team is weighing options between seasoned coaches and esteemed assistant coaches, including those active in the postseason. This ongoing discussion not only highlights the diverse pathways to becoming a head coach in the NBA but also underscores the blend of personal style and professional capability that candidates like Redick bring to the table.

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