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Sharpshooting JJ Redick to throw his hat in the ring for Hornets head coaching gig


Former NBA player JJ Redick has emerged as a candidate for the Charlotte Hornets head coaching job. Redick played 15 years in the league and has been with ESPN as an analyst and color commentator during marquee matchups. He’s also a cohost on two popular podcasts, one of them which happen to be with Los Angeles Lakers’ star LeBron James called “Mind the Game”.

With Steve Clifford transitioning to a front office role, Charlotte will have several interviews in the coming months, including Charles Lee, Kevin Young and others. But no name is bigger than Redick’s for the job.

JJ Redick has no prior coaching experience, but is more than qualified

LA Clippers guard JJ Redick (4) reacts after scoring during the first half against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

A former player that’s played for more than a decade has knowledge of the game obviously, but not all are cut out to coach an NBA team. Redick, however, has taken his time on both of his podcasts, Mind the Game and Old Man and the Three, to go over X’s and O’s with his listeners who are for the most part learning the basics. He has elevated conversations with LeBron and other NBA players that we get to be a fly on the wall for an hour or so.

Imagine what he might be able to do with a young roster of guys in terms of play calling. With a young roster in Charlotte, it wouldn’t take much time for them to mesh with a guy that’s played at the highest level. There’s a mutual respect that comes into play when you know your leader is someone that played in between the same lines.

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How Redick fits in with Hornets’ roster

It might be safe to assume that Redick would be an offensive minded head coach given his play style in the league. LaMelo Ball is the face of the franchise, who is very much so an offensive minded guy. Toss in the other cornerstone in Brandon Miller and you have a great two block foundation to build off of.

Both guys are creative offensive minds that already know how to manipulate defenses to get to their spots and take what they want. Toss in players like Mark Williams and potentially Miles Bridges (if he resigns with Charlotte), and you have an interesting young team in the Eastern Conference.

Why JJ Redick should get the job

After playing, calling, and breaking down game film, JJ Redick is one of the smartest people around the sport of basketball. No he never put in time on the sideline like some of the other candidates, but he’s contributed to the brand of basketball more so than anybody off the court. He’s clearly relatable to players since several come onto his platform to speak about moments in their careers. He’ll bond with players right away. Plus, there’s some North Carolina roots for him since he went to Duke.

It is easily a feel good story. The buzz that would be around Charlotte would be at an all-time high.

Why JJ Redick should not get the job

With no prior coaching experience, it’s understandable why there’s a lot of questions around his name being thrown into the race. Former players may command the respect of a locker room, but that doesn’t mean it translates to wins. Although Redick may have experienced lows in his career, like long losing streaks or overtime losses, it’s different to guide guys back as the man in charge. While Charles Lee and Kevin Young have went through ups and downs in the middle of the season as assistant coaches.

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Yes, Redick has helped grow the game on the outside, but the other candidates been in the trenches in organizations to help their teams compete for an NBA title.

It’s a coin toss response in terms of the head coaching candidates that will be available for the Hornets. Redick might be the biggest gamble for sure and there’s plenty of pros and cons to taking a chance on him. With new ownership in place, there’s no telling what direction they might try to go in. To say the least though, it’s a fun way to kickoff the new regime.


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