Lakers delusional if they believe this coaching hire can replicate Pat Riley

The Lakers thinking anyone can become the next Pat Riley is wild.
Los Angeles Lakers, Pat Riley
Los Angeles Lakers, Pat Riley / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers are not rushing their head coaching search. The Nets, Hornets, and Suns have already hired their replacements. LA fired Darvin Ham after a disappointing season, which ended with a first-round playoff exit. They are just starting to interview candidates, but there are no championship coaches on the market. J.J. Redick appears to be the favorite, but several options are still under consideration.  

There is plenty of skepticism about the 15-year NBA veteran taking over. The Lakers have burned before by listening to LeBron James. Redick has zero coaching experience beyond his son’s youth team and has no ties to the Lakers, except for hosting a podcast with King James.

This topic came up on the Ball Don’t Lie podcast where Jake Fischer noted Redick is the favorite to land the job. He also shared that some think Redick could be the next Pat Riley, which is extremely unlikely.

Nobody can be the next Pat Riley

Dan Devine noted the Lakers may be trying to replicate what the Warriors did with Steve Kerr. He was a veteran sharpshooter, who became a Hall of Fame coach in Golden State. The Dubs won four championships and became a dynasty over the last decade. Devine then linked the Lakers potentially thinking Redick could be the next Riley where Fischer responded.

"I’ve heard that. I think that is not a nothing thing. It worked for Riles. I think that is a non-zero percent of the interest in J.J. (Redick)."

Riley was a role player in the NBA for nine years before immediately jumping into broadcasting. He became an assistant coach after two years in the booth. Riley took over as the Lakers head coach in 1981 at 36 years old and immediately led them to the championship. He would go on to win four rings leading LA. Riley is a legendary head coach and executive. His nine championship rings, including five as HC and Hall of Fame status make him one of the best to ever do it.

Nobody can replicate what Pat Riley did. He is an all-time great head coach and head of basketball operations. All Riles does is win.

The massive missing piece in J.J. Redick’s resume

Redick’s basketball IQ is special. There is no question he can succeed as a coach in the NBA, but he needs time and experience. Pat Riley spent three years as an assistant coach before taking over as the head man. Steve Kerr had no coaching experience but was the Suns' general manager for three years. Both were broadcasters like Redick, but it was their experience with franchises that helped them succeed in their first stints as head coaches.

Look no further than current Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd. He jumped in as head coach immediately after retiring from his playing career. Kidd struggled in both Brooklyn and Milwaukee. The success has come after those learning experiences plus a couple of seasons as an assistant on the Lakers bench. Dallas has reached the conference finals twice in the last three years, and the Hall of Famer will admit his experience has been crucial.

The expectations are massive in LA. Frank Vogel was fired two years after winning a championship, and Darvin Ham was dumped one season after reaching the conference finals. LeBron James turns 40 in December, and the Lakers want to win now. That is a ton to ask of a first-time head coach with no experience. Expecting him to become the next Pat Riley is even less likely.