JJ Redick On The Lakers Pursuit Of Dan Hurley Before Hiring Him: ‘I Understood’

JJ Redick was officially introduced as the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday afternoon, as the former NBA sharpshooter turned podcaster and broadcaster will make his first leap into coaching at a high level in one of the most prominent jobs in all of sports, much less basketball.

Redick was considered a favorite for the job early on in the process, but things suddenly changed as the NBA Finals arrived and UConn head coach Dan Hurley became the Lakers top target. Los Angeles’ pursuit of Redick was extremely public, with them reportedly offering him a 6-year, $70 million deal to become the Lakers coach. Hurley turned that down, and they ultimately went back and signed Redick to a deal in the 4-year, $32 million range.

How that whole process went down naturally was a leading topic in Redick’s introductory presser, and for his part, Redick shrugged it off as an understandable pursuit.

“I was getting ready to call Game 1 of the NBA Finals when the Dan Hurley news broke, and Rob was quick to call me, we had a great conversation,” Redick said. “During that whole four-day period, at no point was my ego or feelings hurt or bruised in any way. Dan Hurley is a two-time national champion at UConn. I am a two-time 55 Swish League Champion in the third and fourth grade division. I understood.”

Redick joked about his lack of NBA experience a few times in the presser to varying degrees of success, but in this case he used it to deflect from any controversy around him being Plan B. On the Lakers side, Rob Pelinka insisted Redick was “in our Plan A pool of coaches” and that they communicated what they were doing with him throughout the process.

I must note that while you certainly can have a pool of top candidates, if you make an offer that’s for more years and more money to someone other than the guy you end up hiring, that means they were not Plan A. The biggest issue was the Lakers making it a very public pursuit of Hurley, because that was always going to invite questions like this. In any case, Redick seems fine with it and wasn’t going to let that stand in his way of getting an NBA coaching job like he’s been wanting for a couple years now.

Spectrum Sportsnet