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Their podcast is over. New Lakers coach JJ Redick still hopes to create great content with LeBron

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Their podcast is over. New Lakers coach JJ Redick still hopes to create great content with LeBron
Sport

Sport

Their podcast is over. New Lakers coach JJ Redick still hopes to create great content with LeBron

2024-06-25 06:49 Last Updated At:07:01

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — JJ Redick says his extraordinary hiring as the Los Angeles Lakers' head coach means the end of his podcast with LeBron James.

Redick hopes they'll be able to produce much more compelling content next season in a new incarnation of their partnership, chasing a championship together with the Lakers.

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JJ Redick, right, walks to the podium with Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, left, before being introduced as the new head coach of the Lakers NBA basketball team Monday, June 24, 2024, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — JJ Redick says his extraordinary hiring as the Los Angeles Lakers' head coach means the end of his podcast with LeBron James.

JJ Redick speaks after being introduced as the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball team Monday, June 24, 2024, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

JJ Redick speaks after being introduced as the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball team Monday, June 24, 2024, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss listens to JJ Redick speak after Redick was introduced as the NBA basketball team's new head coach Monday, June 24, 2024, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss listens to JJ Redick speak after Redick was introduced as the NBA basketball team's new head coach Monday, June 24, 2024, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

JJ Redick, right, sits on a stage with Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka after being introduced as the new head coach of the Lakers NBA basketball team Monday, June 24, 2024, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

JJ Redick, right, sits on a stage with Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka after being introduced as the new head coach of the Lakers NBA basketball team Monday, June 24, 2024, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

JJ Redick speaks after being introduced as the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball team Monday, June 24, 2024, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

JJ Redick speaks after being introduced as the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball team Monday, June 24, 2024, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

The Lakers formally introduced Redick as their coach on Monday, which also happened to be the 15-year NBA veteran’s 40th birthday.

In a news conference with general manager Rob Pelinka at the Lakers’ training complex, Redick humorously embraced the unlikeliness of his extraordinary hire as he looked across a gym filled with team employees, media members and some of his new players.

“I have never coached in the NBA before,” Redick said with a straight face. “I don’t know if you guys have heard that.”

Redick's coaching experience is confined to volunteering with his sons' youth teams, but he plans to overcome that yawning gap with encyclopedic basketball knowledge, personal charisma, an experience-packed coaching staff and an eagerness to innovate.

“This process has been surreal, to say the least,” Redick said. “I take this responsibility very seriously.. ... The Lakers have some of the most passionate fans around the world, and the expectation is a championship, and so it’s my job to deliver a championship-caliber team. That’s what I signed up for.”

Redick also said he got this opportunity with no help or advice from James, who must decide this week whether to exercise his player option to return to the Lakers next season or to become a free agent.

Although Redick didn't break any news, he spoke extensively about the way he hopes to deploy James next season with the Lakers — including shooting more 3-pointers to capitalize on his high percentage.

Redick said he didn't speak with James at all about Los Angeles' lengthy coaching search until a 15-minute conversation after the Lakers offered the job to him last Thursday. But Redick has spoken extensively with fellow Lakers star Anthony Davis, who was more involved than James in the team's hiring process.

Redick and James won't be speaking on microphone together anytime soon, however: Redick acknowledges that he'll have to stop recording their podcast.

“For the time being — and hopefully it’s a very, very long time — I am excommunicated from the content space,” Redick said. "There will be no podcasts. We’ll do something when I have a breather from what I have coming up. I’m gonna be drinking from a firehose for the next month.”

The Lakers reached an agreement with Redick last week, about two weeks after UConn coach Dan Hurley turned down a lucrative offer to jump to the NBA from the back-to-back defending national champion Huskies. Neither Redick nor Hurley has ever coached in the NBA.

Redick said he met with Pelinka before the Lakers’ pursuit of Hurley, and he was on broadcast duty for ESPN while the saga played out.

“At no point was my ego or feelings hurt or bruised in any way,” Redick said. “Dan Hurley is a two-time national champion at UConn. I am a two-time 55 Swish League champion in the third- and fourth-grade division. I understood, you know?”

Redick played 15 NBA seasons for six teams as a productive shooting guard after a four-year career at Duke. He became the Blue Devils’ career scoring leader under Mike Krzyzewski.

After he retired in 2021, Redick embarked on a media career. In just the past several months, he started the “Mind the Game” podcast with James while also ascending to ESPN’s top commentary team, working the NBA Finals this month. Yet Redick realized last year that he wanted to be an NBA head coach after interviewing for the job in Toronto, and he has since spoken at length to top coaches about every aspect of their jobs.

Redick’s insightful podcast with James opened many eyes about Redick’s understanding of the game, and his name arose as a viable — albeit unorthodox — candidate to replace Darvin Ham, who had been fired May 3.

Ham was dismissed by Pelinka and owner Jeanie Buss despite leading the Lakers to two winning seasons, the 2023 Western Conference finals and a victory in the inaugural In-Season Tournament. The Lakers lost to defending champion Denver in the first round of the postseason, and they won just one game in two playoff series against the Nuggets over the past two years.

“I think in industry in general and in sports in specific, sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in patterns of being in a sea of sameness, and doing the same things everybody else is doing,” Pelinka said. “When we embarked on this search, it was really important for us to see if we could do something a little bit different.”

Lakers players including Spencer Dinwiddie, Christian Wood and Gabe Vincent attended the news conference.

Redick spoke optimistically about the Lakers' roster, saying championship expectations are “reasonable. I don’t look at the current roster as being that far off from being a championship-caliber team.”

AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA

JJ Redick, right, walks to the podium with Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, left, before being introduced as the new head coach of the Lakers NBA basketball team Monday, June 24, 2024, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

JJ Redick, right, walks to the podium with Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka, left, before being introduced as the new head coach of the Lakers NBA basketball team Monday, June 24, 2024, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

JJ Redick speaks after being introduced as the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball team Monday, June 24, 2024, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

JJ Redick speaks after being introduced as the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball team Monday, June 24, 2024, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss listens to JJ Redick speak after Redick was introduced as the NBA basketball team's new head coach Monday, June 24, 2024, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Los Angeles Lakers owner Jeanie Buss listens to JJ Redick speak after Redick was introduced as the NBA basketball team's new head coach Monday, June 24, 2024, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

JJ Redick, right, sits on a stage with Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka after being introduced as the new head coach of the Lakers NBA basketball team Monday, June 24, 2024, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

JJ Redick, right, sits on a stage with Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka after being introduced as the new head coach of the Lakers NBA basketball team Monday, June 24, 2024, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

JJ Redick speaks after being introduced as the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball team Monday, June 24, 2024, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

JJ Redick speaks after being introduced as the new head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers NBA basketball team Monday, June 24, 2024, in El Segundo, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

TORONTO (AP) — Mark Canha and Wenceel Pérez hit two-run homers, Jack Flaherty struck out eight in 5 2/3 innings to win for the sixth time in seven starts and the Detroit Tigers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 on Friday night for their third straight victory and ninth in 11.

All-Star first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and outfielder George Springer had two-run homers for Toronto. The Blue Jays lost for the third time in four games. They’re 12-18 in one-run outcomes.

Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette left after six innings because of a strained right calf.

The two-time All-Star and two-time AL hits leader lined out to right field to end the sixth and was injured running to first base, hopping down the line in pain.

“He’s going to get an MRI tomorrow and go from there,” manager John Schneider said. “It sucks for him and for us.”

Leo Jiménez replaced Bichette in the top of the seventh.

Flaherty retired the first 13 batters in order before Bichette singled in the fifth. Daulton Varsho followed with a bloop hit but Flaherty struck out Alejandro Kirk and Ernie Clement.

Flaherty (7-5) allowed two runs and three hits. He’s 6-1 since a May 23 home loss to Toronto.

“It’s hard to argue it’s not a great outing given all the swings and misses he got,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “Five-plus scoreless before the last swing of his outing. We’ll take that every time and feel good about it.”

Guerrero chased Flaherty with a 445-foot drive in the sixth that had an exit velocity of 117.5 mph. The homer was Guerrero’s 15th.

Flaherty is 3-1 with a 2.35 ERA in four career starts against Toronto.

“It seems like every time out he’s capable of that,” Canha said. “He’s been the rock for us. He’s one of those guys where you’re like. ‘Man, where would we be without him?’”

Tigers right-hander Will Vest got one out in the sixth, and Andrew Chafin worked the seventh.

Springer made it 5-4 with a homer off right-hander Beau Brieske in the eighth, his 11th. Jason Foley replaced Briekse and stranded the tying run at second base.

Left-hander Tyler Holton pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his third save in three chances.

“We got the outs when we needed them,” Hinch said.

Detroit’s Matt Vierling doubled to begin the fourth and scored on Riley Greene’s single. Canha followed with a home run off right-hander and former Oakland teammate Chris Bassitt (8-8), his seventh.

Canha said Bassitt had a question for him the next time he came to the plate.

“He said something like ‘How’d you hit that pitch?’ really loud,” Canha said. “I just chuckled. He’s a great pitcher. I’m just happy to get my old buddy, get him once.”

Canha’s homer was his first since a May 11 win against Houston.

“You have those droughts every once in a while,” Canha said. “It’s nice to finally get one.”

Cahna left last Saturday’s win over the Dodgers because of a sore right wrist and didn’t play Sunday’ in the final game before the All-Star break.

Pérez chased Bassitt with a two-out drive in the seventh. The homer was Pérez’s sixth.

“He just caught the bottom of the ball and the ball flew,” Hinch said.

Bassitt allowed five runs and seven hits.

ROSTER MOVES

Blue Jays: Toronto activated RHP Yimi García (elbow) off the 15-day injured list and recalled RHP Erik Swanson from Triple-A Buffalo. RHP Zach Pop was optioned to Triple-A.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Tigers: INF Javier Báez (lower back) is expected to return to the lineup Saturday, Hinch said. Báez left last Saturday’s win over the Dodgers, his sixth game after being on the injured list for a month.

Blue Jays: Former NL MVP Joey Votto was scratched from a scheduled rehab game with Triple-A Buffalo after reinjuring his right ankle during pregame warmups. … Bichette returned from the injured list June 24 after missing nine games because of a sore right calf. He left a July 10 game at San Francisco because of calf soreness and sat out the final four games before the All-Star break.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays LHP Yusei Kikuchi (4-8, 4.42 ERA) was scheduled to start against Tigers RHP Reese Olson (4-8, 3.30) on Saturday.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Detroit Tigers catcher Carson Kelly asks for a replacement PitchCom device after his stopped in first-inning baseball game action against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto, Friday, July 19, 2024. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

Detroit Tigers catcher Carson Kelly asks for a replacement PitchCom device after his stopped in first-inning baseball game action against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto, Friday, July 19, 2024. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Chris Bassitt throws to a Detroit Tigers batter in first-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Friday, July 19, 2024. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Chris Bassitt throws to a Detroit Tigers batter in first-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Friday, July 19, 2024. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

Detroit Tigers shortstop Zach McKinstry throws to first base to put out Toronto Blue Jays' Bo Bichette in second-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Friday, July 19, 2024. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

Detroit Tigers shortstop Zach McKinstry throws to first base to put out Toronto Blue Jays' Bo Bichette in second-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Friday, July 19, 2024. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Spencer Horwitz throws to first base to put out Detroit Tigers' Riley Greene in second-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Friday, July 19, 2024. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Spencer Horwitz throws to first base to put out Detroit Tigers' Riley Greene in second-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Friday, July 19, 2024. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Chris Bassitt, center bottom, warms up in the bullpen before taking on the Detroit Tigers in first-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Friday, July 19, 2024. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Chris Bassitt, center bottom, warms up in the bullpen before taking on the Detroit Tigers in first-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Friday, July 19, 2024. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr., left, throws his bat toward his team's dugout after hitting a two-run home run, also scoring Spencer Horwitz, during first-inning baseball game action against the Detroit Tigers in Toronto, Friday, July 19, 2024. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr., left, throws his bat toward his team's dugout after hitting a two-run home run, also scoring Spencer Horwitz, during first-inning baseball game action against the Detroit Tigers in Toronto, Friday, July 19, 2024. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hits a two-run home run, also scoring Spencer Horwitz, during sixth-inning baseball game action against the Detroit Tigers in Toronto, Friday, July 19, 2024. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hits a two-run home run, also scoring Spencer Horwitz, during sixth-inning baseball game action against the Detroit Tigers in Toronto, Friday, July 19, 2024. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) throws his bat toward his team's dugout after hitting a two-run home run, also scoring Spencer Horwitz, during sixth-inning baseball game action against the Detroit Tigers in Toronto, Friday, July 19, 2024. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) throws his bat toward his team's dugout after hitting a two-run home run, also scoring Spencer Horwitz, during sixth-inning baseball game action against the Detroit Tigers in Toronto, Friday, July 19, 2024. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Jack Flaherty throws to a Toronto Blue Jays batter in first-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Friday, July 19, 2024. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Jack Flaherty throws to a Toronto Blue Jays batter in first-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Friday, July 19, 2024. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Jack Flaherty throws to a Toronto Blue Jays batter in first-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Friday, July 19, 2024. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Jack Flaherty throws to a Toronto Blue Jays batter in first-inning baseball game action in Toronto, Friday, July 19, 2024. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP)

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