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5 biggest takeaways from JJ Redick’s press conference

JJ Redick Press Conference
Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images

In his first press conference as the new Lakers head coach, JJ Redick laid out his plans for the team, philosophies and the type of culture he wants to build in Los Angeles

JJ Redick was officially announced as the Lakers’ new head coach on Monday and the Lakers are banking on the 40-year-old rookie head coach to finally be their guy for the long haul.

Pelinka and the front office ultimately decided that Redick was the best choice because of his unique perspective and philosophy on basketball and his ability to be innovative and forward-thinking.

Perhaps Pelinka is talking about Redick’s desire to be, in the latter’s own words, a coach that serves, collaborates, leads and demands high-level performance and competitiveness. Obviously, this is easier said than done, especially for an inexperienced head coach — as we saw during Darvin Ham’s tenure — which is why this is arguably considered one of the boldest coaching hires in NBA history.

That being said, Redick crushed the first task of his new job, which was to speak to 40-plus reporters in Monday’s press conference. Here are five key takeaways from his first presser as the Lakers’ newest head coach:

The use of math and analytics

When Pelinka mentioned the potential of Redick, perhaps it had something to do with the latter’s goal to utilize analytics as a tool to make decisions for this team. We don’t know what that exactly means for the Lakers’ playbook next season, but what’s certain is that JJ already has ideas on what he wants the team to build and improve on based on what the data says.

Redick, who seemed to clearly do his homework on last season’s team, emphasized that he liked that the Lakers ranked bottom in the league in fouling, but there are certain categories he believes the purple and gold need to significantly improve in, especially on the offensive end and specifically with offensive rebounding.

Redick also mentioned that he’s going to encourage his former podcast co-host LeBron James to shoot more threes, which makes sense because the superstar is coming off a season in which he shot a career-high 41.0% from the three-point line.

While we don’t know whether Darvin Ham and Frank Vogel relied heavily on the numbers, the new Lakers coach will, and this could mean that we see a completely different type of system in place.

The focus on player development

Another takeaway from Redick’s press conference was his vision for player development, which didn’t come into fruition during Ham’s two-year tenure.

In terms of the Lakers’ young core, Redick specifically mentioned Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura as two key players who have the potential to improve under his system.

During his 45-minute press conference, Redick understandably didn’t go into detail about how he wants the others, specifically Max Christie, Jarred Vanderbilt, Gabe Vincent, and Jalen Hood-Schifino, to develop in his system. However, given that he mentioned he’s excited to help “some of the younger guys in the roster,” these aforementioned players have the potential to experience a different approach this time around.

The idea of utilizing Anthony Davis as a hub

Similar to Ham’s vision, Redick wants Davis to be the focal point of the team but this time, with the idea of truly maximizing all of his abilities, which is something the coach feels hasn’t been done in the last few years. Redick, who notably left AD off in his All-Defense team ballot, believes that Davis is a top five defender in the league and he’s going to build off that.

Perhaps we’ll know in detail by training camp how exactly Redick plans to make AD the hub of the team, but right now, he clearly wants to elevate the 31-year-old superstar’s involvement on offense.

A different type of culture

With a new coach comes a different type of system, philosophies and culture. During Redick’s tenure, he said he wants to implement a competitive culture and the idea of pursuing greatness such as their goal of winning a championship with joy.

“To me, culture is very simply two things: It’s how a group interacts with each other and it’s the things that the group prioritizes,” Redick said. “So as the head coach and the GM, along with the players, we have to determine how we’re going to interact with each other and what we prioritize.”

Obviously, this is easier said than done. In fact, this quote from JJ can even be considered one of those cliche things most head coaches tend to say in their introductory press conferences. But that’s why Redick acknowledged that vision is one thing while execution is another entirely.

For now, the new head coach deserves the benefit of the doubt as he aims to get the team to buy into his program.

A particular type of coaching staff

When asked about who will sit alongside him on the sidelines as part of his coaching staff, Redick mentioned that he’s completely aligned with Pelinka in terms of adding former and experienced coaches to his staff along with a mix of young ones.

While Redick didn’t want to reveal specific names, he did detail the specific qualities he wanted in his assistants.

Redick is self-aware enough to know that hiring an inexperienced coach like him is extremely risky. But the first-time head coach will not use the voice of his and the team’s naysayers as motivation because, in his own words, he really doesn’t “give a f---” about the outside noise.

Redick wants to focus solely on bringing the Lakers back to championship glory and for the organization to look back on this moment years from now as one of the best hires in franchise history.

You can follow Nicole on Twitter at @nicoleganglani

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