The Los Angeles Lakers’ search for a new head coach is in full swing, with the franchise conducting its first official interviews. Reports surfaced Tuesday morning that the Lakers have interviewed JJ RedickSam Cassell and James Borrego as potential replacements for Darvin Ham. While these candidates were anticipated, one detail caught many off guard.

According to Shams Charania and Jovan Buha of The Athletic, the Lakers are reportedly “infatuated with Redick’s potential,” viewing him as a Pat Riley-esque figure capable of leading the team in both the short and long term. This comparison to one of the most iconic figures in basketball history is as flattering as it is burdensome.

Many Lakers fans expect that he could become the second-most successful coach in franchise history, akin to Riley, who won seven NBA titles and became a key architect of modern basketball. Riley’s achievements include over 1,000 victories as an NBA head coach, a milestone only nine others have reached.

Comparing Redick to Riley is a definitive leap. While it’s reasonable to believe Redick, who was an NBA player and is now a sports analyst, has potential as a coach, suggesting he could become one of the greatest ever is questioned. This type of comparison sets a nearly impossible bar for Redick to meet and adds pressure to Redick’s future performance.

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The Lakers’ head coaching position is inherently demanding, with the team perpetually under the media microscope and high expectations. The backlash could be even more intense, given the urgency to maximize LeBron James’ remaining playing years. By comparing any candidate to Riley, the Lakers set a standard that could overshadow the new coach’s performance.

The Lakers need a coach to navigate the pressures of one of the NBA’s most prestigious franchises and deliver results. Realistic expectations and support are crucial for any new coach, and the Lakers need to provide a base that allows for growth rather than comparison from day one.

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