Los Angeles Lakers could be setting up J.J. Redick for failure if hired as head coach

The Los Angeles Lakers appear to be trending toward hiring J.J. Redick as the team's next head coach.
Golden State Warriors v Denver Nuggets
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The Los Angeles Lakers may be setting up their likely next head coach, J.J. Redick, up for failure heading into the future.

With the way the news has trended recently, it would be surprising if the Los Angeles Lakers didn't hire J.J. Redick as their next head coach. And while it would be quite the story around the league, I can't help but wonder if the team could be setting Redick up for failure.

Normally, when first-time head coaches get their feet wet in the NBA, it's not necessarily in a head role and even if it is, it's certainly not as the head coach of such a high-profile team like the Lakers with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Nevertheless, it appears as if Redick will be thrust into such a role. There are a few things at play here. It's not that Redick is not qualified per se. He might be. He could end up being a great head coach in the NBA. But throwing him into such a high-pressure job is not going to help him at all as he attempts to begin to coaching career.

Not only will Redick have to prove that he has the Xs and Os to be a successful head coach in the NBA, but he'll also have to prove that he can manage multiple star players - and their egos. And that is oftentimes one of the most difficult to do in the NBA. In addition to all that, the Lakers are going to have championship expectations next season. Redick, in the first year on the job, will also have to deal with that.

I understand the Lakers want a fresh voice in charge of the locker room and LeBron's influence certainly directed the team toward Redick (even though he'll never admit it), but I can't help but feel as if this is a possible hiring that could end up failing on multiple fronts.

The worst thing of all this is that if something goes wrong with the Lakers this season, Redick is likely going to be the first one to blame. He's going to emerge as a natural scapegoat for the team if they fall short of their sky-high expectations.

What does a successful first season look like for J.J. Redick?

If Redick is going to have a "successful" first season with the Lakers, that almost has to include a deep run in the Western Conference playoffs and almost certainly an NBA Finals appearance. Looking at what the expectations are going to be for the Lakers next season, with LeBron, AD, and potentially another All-Star addition, it's hard to see anything less than an NBA Finals appearance being a success for the team.

And generally speaking, as has been the norm across the league, head coaches are an easy target for teams that fall short of expectations.

If the Lakers add an All-Star talent this offseason and they're unable to win the NBA Championship next season, their first-year head coach will be under fire. While the Lakers are giving Redick a golden opportunity to thrive as a head coach, they're also potentially setting him up for failure before his coaching career even begins.

If this is indeed the path the Lakers take, it's going to be interesting to see how it all plays out for both sides. Especially for Redick as a first-year head coach.

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