LeBron James reportedly ‘not involved’ in Lakers’ coach search

The Los Angeles Lakers haven’t been in contact with their top player during the search to find their next head coach.

LeBron James is “not involved” and has had “no conversations” with the Lakers about their search for their next head coach, The Athletic reported Monday.  

JJ Redick has reportedly emerged as one of the frontrunners for the Lakers’ job, leading some to speculate that James might be involved, since the two host a podcast together. However, James has had “no conversations” with the team about Redick, according to The Athletic.

James and Redick began their podcast, titled “Mind the Game,” in March. The podcast largely covers the nuances of basketball — a description of the show says it will discuss “the state of the game, dissect X’s and O’s, and wax poetic about the game they love.”

Redick, who played 15 seasons in the NBA, has risen up the broadcast ranks in recent years, calling games for ESPN and ABC. However, he’s never held a coaching job at the professional or collegiate level before.

There is some precedent with ex-players getting coaching jobs without experience. Mark Jackson and Stever Kerr were each hired out of the broadcast booth by the Golden State Warriors. The New York Knicks hired Derek Fisher to be their head coach right after his playing career ended in 2014. 

Other rumored candidates for the Lakers’ coaching job include Boston Celtics assistant Sam Cassell, Miami Heat assistant Chris Quinn, New Orleans Pelicans assistant James Borrego, Golden State Warriors assistant Kenny Atkinson, Denver Nuggets assistant coach David Adelman and Minnesota Timberwolves assistant Micah Nori. 

Coach K helps LeBron and Lakers in coaching search

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As the Lakers navigate their head coach search, James’ future in Los Angeles is also up in the air. He has a player option for next season, which he can decline to become a free agent later this summer. The Lakers “badly” want James to return to the organization this offseason, The Athletic reported following the team’s season-ending loss to the Nuggets. Los Angeles is willing to offer James a three-year maximum deal and draft his son, Bronny James, in the 2024 NBA Draft in order to entice him to stay, according to The Athletic.

The Lakers fired Darvin Ham after their first-round exit against the Nuggets. Ham was 90-74 over his two seasons as head coach.

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