Los Angeles Lakers

5 takeaways from J.J. Redick's first Lakers press conference

The Los Angeles Lakers unveiled their new head coach on Monday. Here are five takeaways from J.J. Redick's introductory press conference.

JJ Redick Press Conference

EL SEGUNDO, CA – JUNE 24: New Head Coach JJ Redick of the Los Angeles Lakers poses for a portrait on June 24, 2024 at UCLA Health Training Center in El Segundo, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2024 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)

The excitement was palpable at the Los Angeles Lakers practice facility in El Segundo on Monday afternoon. The 29th head coach in Lakers franchise history was about to step to the podium for his first press conference as the new Lakers boss. However, the excitement was not just about who it was, but how he would answer questions, specifically the elephant in the room.

"I have never coached in the NBA before," said Redick smiling, addressing that very elephant within minutes of taking the microphone. "I don't know if you guys have heard that."

It's true. Redick has never coached at any level except his eight-year-old son's youth team. But, the 15-year NBA veteran, known for his sharpshooting skills and basketball acumen on the court, will take the experience and communication skills he's learned as a podcaster, analyst, and broadcaster with him in his role as a head coach. Many of those skills are invaluable and all of it is experience. It might not be head coaching experience, but it's NBA experience nonetheless.

NBC LA was in attendance for Redick's press conference on Monday afternoon and here are the five key takeaways from his debut appearance with the purple and gold.

1. A Coaching Philosophy Rooted in Experience

As earlier mentioned, Redick’s coaching approach is deeply influenced by his extensive playing career. He emphasized player development, teamwork, and a high basketball IQ as the cornerstones of his strategy. Drawing from his years on the court, Redick plans to foster a culture of competition, where each player understands their role and contributes to the team's collective success.

"I have zero coaching experience in the NBA, but I would argue that I'm very experienced," Redick stated with conviction. "It started 22 years ago when I went to Duke and I got to play for Coach K for four years. Then I spent 15 years as a player, and honestly, the last three years have been invaluable in preparing me for this moment, being able to connect to players, talking to them on the podcast, being in coaching interviews with ESPN, calling games, analyzing the game in three different formats, all of that has helped prepare me to be an NBA head coach."


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2. Vision for a Versatile and Adaptable Team

At the heart of Redick’s vision is a commitment to versatility and adaptability. He aims to implement a strong defensive strategy paired with an up-tempo offensive style. Redick believes in preparing players to adapt to the ever-evolving landscape of the NBA, ensuring they can thrive in various game situations.

"I think about the NBA today, and the game is evolving. It's evolving fast and one of the things in coaching is you have to be adaptable. You have to be adaptable to your roster, you have to be adaptable in game planning against your opponent, and that's one of the things I really will strive to be," said Redick, setting a clear expectation for the Lakers' future.

3. Building Strong Player Relationships

Redick spoke passionately about the importance of building strong relationships with his players. He sees trust and communication as vital to team success. By understanding each player’s individual needs and earning their trust, Redick aims to create a positive and cohesive team culture.

"With any player I have a vision for on how I want to use them, there has to be a buy-in and collaboration," said Redick. "I can sit up here and tell you how I would like for them to play, but if there's no buy-in then it doesn't really matter. Anthony [Davis] and I already had a conversation a week ago about some of the ideas both offensively and defensively…I brought up with him the idea of him being a hub…in a way that sort of maximizes all of his abilities."

4. High Expectations and Ambitious Goals

The new head coach is setting the bar high, aiming for consistent playoff appearances and long-term success. Redick underscored the importance of hard work, dedication, and maintaining a winning mindset. His ambitious goals reflect his determination to lead the Lakers back to the top.

"Lastly, I just want to say, sitting in this seat, I know what the expectations are for the Lakers. The Lakers fans are some of the most passionate in the world, and the expectation is a championship. So it's my job, Rob's [Pelinka] job, all of us, to deliver a championship-caliber team. That's what I signed up for."

5. Smooth Transition from Player to Coach

Redick shared personal anecdotes from his playing career, reflecting on how they’ve shaped his coaching philosophy. His transition from player to coach, while challenging, is a journey he embraces wholeheartedly. Redick's personal experiences add authenticity to his vision and approach, making him a relatable and inspiring leader.

"Every experience on the court has prepared me for this moment," he reflected, adding a personal touch to his professional journey.

JJ Redick's first press conference as the Lakers' head coach offered a glimpse into his strategic mind and communication style. Another thing that was noteworthy was that Pelinka mentioned he and Redick would like to hire at least two assistant coaches with NBA coaching experience to help usher their new leader into his role.

Redick also mentioned he was open to coaching the Lakers' summer league team in Las Vegas, and wasn't afraid to drop a few curse words when it came to his detractors.

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