Truth Behind LeBron James' Role in JJ Redick Hire Revealed

LeBron James reportedly played a surprisingly small role in the Lakers' coaching search.
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After a long wait, the Los Angeles Lakers finally have their new head coach. As was widely expected by many, JJ Redick was announced as the new man in charge on Thursday.

This hire naturally kickstarted a slew of speculation. The widespread assumption was that LeBron James had to put his thumb on the scale to ensure his podcast co-host and close friend got the job.

However, the reporting inside the organization suggests that that might not be the case. ESPN's Dave McMenamin said that there was no discussion between James and the Lakers top brass about the hiring process.

"There was no conversation between LeBron James and Jeanie Buss or Rob Pelinka or Kurt Rambis or anybody else when it comes to the Lakers decision makers about JJ Redick as a candidate, about Dan Hurley as a candidate, about anybody else as a candidate."

Dave McMenamin, ESPN

Even though this may be true, it's hard to believe that LeBron's relationship with Redick didn't play a role in the decision. James doesn't need to explicitly tell Buss or Pelinka to hire someone but they likely implicitly knew that LeBron preferred Redick. They presumably thought that hiring the 39-year-old would increase their chances of re-signing James this summer.

It's true that if things go according to plan, Redick will stay as the Lakers head coach longer than LeBron will stay in Los Angeles. So, having a future-focused thinking when it came to the coaching hire made sense. It's also important to remember that the Lakers are not going to hire a head coach that LeBron wouldn't approve of.

Agent Rich Paul is also claiming that they are not exerting any pressure on the Lakers to draft or sign Bronny James next week. That is likely going to be a similar scenario where even though there is no implicit demand, it is assumed that LeBron would be happier if his son was playing on the same team as him. Once we see how that fascinating storyline plays out, we will have a better idea of who actually is pulling the strings in Los Angeles.

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