The Lakers should consider bringing this former head coach on their staff

With a rookie head coach set to take the helm for the 2024-2025 NBA season, question marks loom over who the Lakers will choose to add to their coaching staff. This former Laker may be a viable option. 
Dallas Mavericks v Brooklyn Nets
Dallas Mavericks v Brooklyn Nets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

As Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN first reported on June 20, former NBA player and on-air ESPN talent JJ Redick is set to be the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Now come the next steps of who the Lakers will surround Redick with regarding his coaching staff and supporting cast on the sidelines. 

Redick will be a first-time head coach, and while he has proven himself to be a strategic and analytic asset when it comes to basketball knowledge, he will need coaches around him for support, especially in his first year.  

These assistant coaches will not only serve as extra sets of eyes with game management, matchup preparation and lockerroom chemistry, but be a sounding board for Redick, so he can set the foundation for a system in Los Angeles, as opposed to falling on his face and getting fired after a season or two. 

As reported by The Athletic, as of now, names like Sam Cassell, Scott Brooks, Jared Dudley, and even recent NBA retiree Rajon Rondo are among those who could potentially fill assistant roles for the Lakers.

One more name that should be thrown into the mix is NBA Hall-of-Famer Steve Nash. 

Lakers should consider Steve Nash for assistant coaching role

It’s well-known that Nash’s recent tenure with the Brooklyn Nets from 2020 to 2022 did not work out. In fact, with the talent pool Brooklyn had with the likes of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden, that Nets team will forever go down as one of the biggest what-ifs in NBA history. 

However, people forget that Nash’s time in Brooklyn was actually pretty successful given the circumstances he was placed in, thus making him a good fit for the Lakers’ bench. 

Yes, Nash was eventually fired from the Nets’ organization in 2022, but he did lead the Nets to playoff appearances in both of the full seasons he was at the helm. 

Much was made of Nash becoming head coach at the time back in 2020, as he was a former two-time MVP and is still considered one of the greatest guards to ever play in the NBA. And he did a decent job getting an organization that had seldom been to the postseason in the seasons leading up to 2020 back into playoff and even championship contention. 

The timing of his tenure just didn't pan out. Who would’ve thought Irving, Durant, and Harden would have only played 16 games together when all was said and done? 

An assistant gig with the Lakers would provide a deserved second chance for Nash and he would be a strong addition to a Redick-led team. 

Nash not only has 18 years of NBA playing experience, but he knows what it’s like to be a young head coach and a head coach who was a former player. He could be a mentor to Redick while simultaneously being a mentor to some of the younger players on the roster.

Nash could also unlock a lot more of D’Angelo Russell’s game as a potential leader of the Lakers’ offense. He could also help in setting up additional pick-and-roll situations for Russell and Anthony Davis, as Nash was accustomed to helping facilitate such plays in his time with the Phoenix Suns with Amar’e Stoudemire.  

Nash also played for the Lakers in the final years of his career, so he is familiar with the expectations that come with playing in Los Angeles, and could not only help the players deal with that pressure, but help fellow assistant coaches understand all that comes with that Hollywood limelight. 

Nash’s name hasn’t been thrown in the mix with recent head coaching turnover in the NBA, but I think two years removed from his last game with the Nets in 2022, it’s time his name is.