New Lakers Coach Already Under Fire: 'How Is This Even Remotely Appropriate'


Well, that didn’t take long.

Less than a day after being formally announced as the new head coach of one of the NBA’s most storied franchises, J.J. Redick found himself wrapped up in controversy.

After being spurned in their pursuit of UConn head coach Danny Hurley, the Los Angeles Lakers pivoted swiftly to hiring Redick — a former Duke standout and longtime NBA veteran — to lead the franchise.

Even the decision to hire Redick was mired in controversy, given his buddy-buddy relationship with Lakers star LeBron James, whom many blame for the team’s unceremonious ouster of former coach Darvin Ham.

(James and Redick raised many eyebrows when they started a podcast together, though it appears the podcast will be suspended while Redick is coaching James.)

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But the coach can’t hire himself, so you can’t blame him for that.

What falls on Redick, however, is the way he conducts himself.

And the way he conducted himself during his Monday introductory news conference left quite a bit to be desired for many critics.

A reporter asked Redick what, if any, misconceptions or concerns he wanted to dispel.

Do you have a problem with sports coaches using profanity?

“It’s a valid question, and I’ve certainly heard everything,” he responded, alluding to some of the loud grumbling surrounding his hire.

“It’s been a really interesting six weeks or so just in terms of, you know, being part of the engagement farming industry,” Redick continued. “It’s been really interesting.

“However, I don’t really have a great answer for your question because I really don’t give a f***, like honestly.

“I want to coach the Lakers. I want to coach the team. I don’t want to dispel anything. I don’t. I want to become a great coach in the NBA. And I want to win championships. And I want my players to maximize their careers.

“That’s all I f***ing care about.”

Watch: Bronny James Under Fire for Saying He 'Never Thought' of Playing with LeBron After Being Drafted by Lakers

WARNING: The following clip contains language that some viewers may find offensive.

That profanity-laced response elicited a strong response from people on social media who largely appeared to echo the same sentiment: Swearing certainly has its place in sports, but is an introductory news conference the right place for it?

Most argued no.

Christian sports pundit and occasional Jason Whitlock collaborator T.J. Moe perhaps best summed up the backlash to Redick’s comments.

“Coaches have always used profanity in practice and games, but when did the standard of public presentation drop so low?” Moe asked in an X post. “How is this even remotely appropriate at an introductory press conference to become a NBA head coach?

“Not a fan. Have some respect.”

Indeed, as Moe and others suggested, sometimes coaches think they need an expletive to break through to a stubborn player. But it’s complete overkill when talking to a reporter who asked a legitimate question.

Perhaps more concerning for Redick, his claims that his friendship with James has nothing to do with his hire appears to be falling on deaf ears — and loud groans.

At about 13 seconds into the following clip, you can hear a response from the peanut gallery to his claim that “LeBron and I did not talk about the Lakers job until Thursday afternoon, about 30 minutes after I was offered the job”:

Whether it’s his unwarranted use of profanity or the nepotism-by-friendship allegations, Redick didn’t exactly pass his initial presser with flying colors, at least according to the court of public opinion.

He will have a chance to rectify some of that soon, however, as his first major decision as Lakers head coach comes Wednesday.

Los Angeles has the 17th and 55th overall picks in the NBA draft. Many analysts predict the team will select James’ son, Bronny, in the second round.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than five years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, Korean
Topics of Expertise
Sports, Entertainment, Science/Tech