Rumored assistant coach would bring championship pedigree to JJ Redick’s staff

The Los Angeles Lakers have been linked to a potential assistant coach whose legacy as a championship-caliber player could help JJ Redick as head coach.
New York Knicks v Philadelphia 76ers
New York Knicks v Philadelphia 76ers / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers are either incredibly meticulous or putting the cart before the horse. In either event, the Lakers have begun exploring their options as far as potential assistant coaches are concerned for whomever the organization opts to hire as head coach.

With JJ Redick emerging as the favorite to fill the lead vacancy, the philosophy behind the Lakers' assistant coaching search is beginning to be made clear.

A recent report stated that Redick is already making the rounds in his attempts to piece together a coaching staff. Redick is reportedly interested in bringing the likes of James Borrego, Sam Cassell, and Jared Dudley to Los Angeles with him.

According to Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times, another name is emerging as a potential candidate to be added to Redick's staff: Four-time All-Star Rajon Rondo.

"Rumors of the Lakers' staffing plans have run throughout the league during the past two weeks, with some names most commonly mentioned including former head coach Scott Brooks and assistants Sam Cassell and Jared Dudley. Ex-Lakers guard Rajon Rondo has also been under consideration, according to people with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly."

Rondo is one of the most intriguing names added to the list thus far, even if he hasn't yet gained experience as a coach at the NBA or collegiate levels.

Rondo played 16 years in the NBA, earning a reputation as one of the best floor generals in the Association. He led the NBA in assists three times and steals once, earning four All-Star Game appearances and four All-Defense honors.

Perhaps even more significantly, Rondo won two championships during his career, including one with the Lakers in 2020.

Rondo has yet to take to the sideline as a coach, but most agree that it's only a matter of time. In addition to being an accomplished player, his knowledge and approach to the game have earned rave reviews from around the NBA.

During his final NBA season, for instance, Rondo received the second-most votes in an NBA GM Survey that posed the question of which player would make the best head coach one day.

If Los Angeles were to added Rondo to their staff, it would be a clear indication of the desire to build a championship culture. Of the rumored potential assistant coaches, three are former players who have won championships, with Dudley and Rondo doing so with the Lakers in 2020.

That alone speaks volumes to the direction that Redick and Rob Pelinka appear to be heading in, as they want to create a culture of accountability through the lens of individuals who know what it takes to be a champion.

While Redick was unable to win a title during his playing career, the fact that he's reportedly trying to surround himself with former players who did is a positive. Even the other names on the list, including Borrego and Scott Brooks, know what it takes to win in the NBA.

Borrego led the Charlotte Hornets to 43 wins in 2021-22—their most since 2015-16—while Brooks guided the Oklahoma City Thunder to the 2012 NBA Finals.

With the addition of Rondo to the mix, it's clear that the Lakers want to help Redick—or whoever else may become the head coach—create a sustainable and identifiable culture. That's easier said than done, but reports of this nature indicate a positive swing in momentum.

Assuming that it's the next head coach and not Pelinka who's finding these potential assistant coaches, the Lakers' coaching search is trending in a positive direction.