Why it’s Anthony Davis, not LeBron James, who JJ Redick has to win over for Lakers’ head coaching job

Tony Nguyen | Los Angeles Lakers
May 25, 2024

The Los Angeles Lakers have a big decision to make in regards to their next head coach this offseason. After firing Darvin Ham, JJ Redick is believed to be a frontrunner for the gig, due in large part to his relationship with LeBron James. And while Redick’s friendship with James has received a ton of attention throughout this process, it may be Anthony Davis who holds the power in this situation.

Everyone knows that James and Redick are close, so chances are if that’s the route the Lakers want to go, James wouldn’t be opposed to it. With Davis, though, he doesn’t have the same relationship with Redick, and he’s likely going to be in Los Angeles longer than LeBron will be. So with that in mind, he may be the one Redick has to impress, rather than James.

“Listen, this is Anthony Davis’s team moving forward, he’s the one who’s 31 in the prime of his career. So how can, whether it’s JJ Redick or another coach, dictate how you’re going to revolve your game plan around Anthony Davis, I think that’s going to be an important part.” – Shams Charania, The Pat McAfee Show

Anthony Davis inadvertently set to play a big role in JJ Redick’s candidacy

Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3) warms up before game five of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena.
Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

There’s been a lot of attention surrounding the Lakers head coaching situation, because this is a huge offseason for them. Los Angeles obviously wants to keep James in town in an offseason where he could choose to hit free agency, so prioritizing his wants and needs in their head coaching search is obviously a good first step to take in their quest to keep him around.

On the other side of the equation, the Lakers can’t totally forget about Davis. He’s 31 years old, and is likely going to be sticking around on the Lakers for longer than James will be. While keeping LeBron happy is crucial, they also need to appease Davis too, because he’s probably going to play a bigger role in LA’s long-term future than James.

So while the Redick-LeBron relationship is drawing a bunch of attention, how Redick impresses Davis may actually be more important in this scenario. There are some legitimate questions surrounding Redick’s fit with the team, and if Davis doesn’t believe he’s cut out to lead their team, that could put the front office and upper management in a real bind.

Redick has already met with the Lakers, so it’s safe to say that they are interested in him, and it isn’t just a rumor at this point. And yet, Davis could end up being the guy who holds a sneaky amount of power in this situation. There are a lot of moving parts in the Lakers head coach search, but Davis could end up being the guy who holds all the cards, even if he isn’t being talked about all that much.