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LA Lakers name TV pundit Redick as new head coach

JJ Redick
JJ Redick played for six teams during his 15-year playing career [Getty Images]

The LA Lakers are have named television pundit and former player JJ Redick as their new head coach.

The former Orlando Magic and LA Clippers shooting guard moved into punditry with broadcaster ESPN after ending his 15-year playing career and has no previous coaching experience.

The 40-year-old also co-hosts a basketball podcast alongside Lakers stalwart LeBron James.

“I am incredibly humbled to join the Los Angeles Lakers, one of the most iconic and successful sports franchises in the world,” Redick said.

He replaces Darvin Ham, who was sacked by the Lakers in May.

"JJ is a fierce competitor and has an extraordinary basketball IQ and understanding of the modern game that will energize players and excite fans," Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka said, adding there had been "a thoughtful and thorough search process".

"His rigorous analysis will immediately unlock new opportunities for our roster while setting a foundation for player development over the long term."

Earlier this month, the University of Connecticut's head coach Dan Hurley turned down an offer reportedly worth $70m (£55.2m) to take over as Lakers coach

Analysis

Sam Harris, BBC Sport journalist

This is by no doubt a rogue choice from one of the biggest sporting organisations in the world.

A veteran of the league who had a 15-year playing career has now got the task of taking a championship-hungry Lakers side back to the top without any top coaching experience under his belt.

The 40-year-old is one of the most respected names in the game, known for his strong shooting ability during his playing days. But now, he’s more known for his analysis on ESPN and podcast with Lakers star James - the NBA legend he now hopes to build around.

Redick, who retired in 2021, is just six months older than James and was drafted to the league three years after him.

Now, he finds himself coaching the Lakers legend ahead of his 22nd and potentially final season.

And it is James' future that will potentially be job number one for Redick. The four-time NBA champion can become a free agent by declining his $51.4m (£40.6m) player option when the window opens at the end of June.

Tying him down to a new contract would allow Redick time before launching a fully fledged rebuild.