Magic Johnson, Coach K reacts to Lakers hiring JJ Redick

Magic Johnson, Coach K reacts to Lakers hiring JJ Redick

With the news that the LA Lakers are hiring JJ Redick as coach to a four-year deal, reactions are pouring in from the basketball world.

Two of the most significant voices belong to former Lakers great Magic Johnson and former Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, Redick’s coach.

Johnson, himself a former Lakers coach, said he was “cautiously optimistic” about Redick while wondering if he would turn out to be more like former players who went on to successful coaching careers or more like those (like him) who have failed.

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Johnson also said the Lakers’ front office must work now to improve the roster of a team that lost to the Denver Nuggets in five games in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

As for Coach K, he was more supportive of his former player who had never coached at any level and took the job after UConn coach and Jersey City native Dan Hurley turned it down.

Coach K said Redick will “build a winning culture.”

“Make no mistake about it, he can coach,” Coach K told FOX Sports. “She wants to win so badly, but he supports her. JJ trained as well as anyone I’ve ever trained.”

He added: “The thing that JJ will have to do as a head coach is let others use his talents and not be a micromanager but a leader who empowers the people around him.” Krzyzewski said. “Basically, let the guys around him do what the coaches let JJ do when he was playing.

“He understands the game, he understands the guys who play the game — where you have empathy for every other player — and he understands the people. He develops trusting relationships with people. When he says something, there is no BS. Is the truth. If a player trusts you and you can tell them the truth all the time, you will have a better player playing for you. He knows the game, he knows how to teach the game and he (will) know how to surround himself with complementary coaches. He’s smart enough to know he’s not going to do it alone, so you’re going to have not only great players, but great assistants. He will build a culture that is conducive to winning and going for it every day.”

Redick will jump right into the fire with the NBA Draft next week and the Lakers facing a decision on whether to draft Bronny James and putting Redick in the middle of a delicate situation involving his podcast partner LeBron James, and LeBron’s older son, who averaged about five points. in his only season at USC.

Free also begins on June 30, and LeBron is expected to opt out of his contract but re-sign with the Lakers.

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Adam Zagoria is a freelance reporter covering Seton Hall and NJ college basketball for NJ Advance Media. You can follow him on Twitter @Adam Zagoria and check out his website at