Shaquille O’Neal calls Los Angeles Lakers decision to hire JJ Redick ‘crazy’

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Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

While Shaquille O’Neal will be rooting for JJ Redick to have a successful run as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, he is confused that a man with no coaching experience can land one of the most prestigious jobs in the sport over others who have worked their way up the coaching ranks.

Before the NBA offseason really kicked off, the Lakers had a monumental decision to make on who would be their next head coach. Despite reaching the playoffs twice and the Western Conference Finals last year, Darvin Ham was cut loose after just two seasons. His predecessor Frank Vogel lasted just three seasons.

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The expectations of a Lakers head coach are sky-high and not for the weak at heart. This is why the organization’s decision to make JJ Redick — a former player and recent ESPN analyst — the new head coach despite zero coaching experience was surprising. However, the NBA veteran’s hiring was just the latest of a growing trend in sports.

It’s something that confuses Lakers great Shaquille O’Neal. The four-time champion respects Redick and is hoping for the best for his tenure leading the locker room, but it perplexes him that experienced assistants with just as much experience in the league were bypassed for the popular podcaster.

Shaquille O’Neal suggests Sam Cassell should have had a chance at Los Angeles Lakers job?

Los Angeles Lakers
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

“It makes it look crazy that a guy with no experience can overshadow a guy like Sam Cassell who’s been in the league 15 years, this and that,” O’Neal said during a recent edition of “The Big Podcast with Shaq.” “So just let me say that, no disrespect to JJ, but I think Sam should also be able to get the same looks. But I’m happy for JJ. A lot of pressure.

“Winning games will not be good enough. Expectation when you take that job, when you take the Miami Heat job, when you take a job where there’s a lot of talent, the expectation is to win championships.”

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Redick will be leading a team that won a championship four years ago and will oversee a pair of superstars in Lebron James and Anthony Davis who he is not much older than and played against.

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