In May, JJ Redick reportedly interviewed for the head coaching vacancy of the Toronto Raptors.
Redick had no experience as a head coach on any professional level, yet he was under consideration for a team that won the championship in 2019 with a president in Masai Ujiri who is one of the most respected in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
He ultimately wouldn’t get the role, but it was a sign that the ESPN analyst and color commentator was being considered as a coach. And his decision to even take the interview showed there was mutual interest.
Redick revealed on an episode of “Pablo Torre Finds Out” on Jan. 11 that there were many more NBA teams who showed interest in him to join their staff, though not necessarily as a head coach.
“I’ve had discussions and offers in terms of being an assistant coach and on the staff from a number of teams,” Redick said.
The Boston Celtics were one of them, which Redick had already revealed in the past during an episode of his podcast, “The Old Man and the Three.”
In the fall of 2022, Redick was asked to join the staff of then newly-hired Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla. He talked more about that process on Pablo Torre’s show, which included a golf trip that turned into a recruiting session.
“I happened to be in Boston, and I get a call from Brad Stevens,” Redick said.
Stevens, who is the president of basketball operations with the Celtics, asked Redick if Mazzulla could join him on the trip. They spent the next few hours playing and discussing what Redick’s role would be on the staff.
But there was a catch. Mazzulla was a last-minute new hire for the Celtics due to a controversy with its last head coach, Ime Udoka. Redick would thus need to start with the team in a few days.
The quick turnover made his choice difficult.
“How do I make this decision?” Redick said. “My kids are in school, I’ve planned out my life. It’s hard.”
Redick clearly didn’t take the offer from the Celtics. He’s stayed with ESPN and has been promoted to the second-highest NBA broadcast team of the company together with play-by-play man Ryan Ruocco and fellow former NBA veteran Richard Jefferson.
That trio falls right behind the trio of Mike Breen, Doris Burke, and Redick’s former coach Doc Rivers on the totem poll of NBA’s broadcast groups.
But as Redick revealed to Torre, there were more than just two teams that have expressed interest.
“Six to eight, I’d have to go through,” Redick said.
Torre joked that the number of teams that have reached out to him could be a sign that Redick will eventually pull the trigger and get into coaching.
“That tells me that people are like, ‘JJ’s going to crack,'” Torre said. “Inside they see it in your eyes. They see that sicko flicker.”
Redick is actually still coaching, but at a very different level. Redick and Torre discussed over the 50-minute show how the NBA lifer has chosen to instead become the head coach of his nine-year-old son’s basketball team in Brooklyn.
“I could be helping [Jayson] Tatum how to win a championship,” Redick joked. “Instead, I’m trying to figure out how nine-year-olds can beat a two-three zone.”
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