“Players will respect him”: Magic Johnson straightforwardly picks Dan Hurley over JJ Redick as preferred Lakers HC choice 

Magic Johnson straightforwardly picks Dan Hurley over JJ Redick as preferred Lakers HC choice (Image via @magicjohnson Instagram)
Magic Johnson straightforwardly picks Dan Hurley over JJ Redick as preferred Lakers HC choice (Image via @magicjohnson Instagram)

Magic Johnson has given his verdict on who he thinks should be the LA Lakers' next head coach between Dan Hurley and JJ Redick. The latter reportedly was the frontrunner for several days until Adrian Wojnarowski dropped arguably the hottest rumor of the Lakers' offseason on Thursday morning regarding the team's interest in Hurley.

"The Los Angeles Lakers are targeting Connecticut’s Dan Hurley to become the franchise’s next coach and are preparing a massive, long-term contract offer to bring the back-to-back national champion to the NBA," Wojnarowski posted on X.

With the Lakernation divided on who is better suited to take the job, Johnson, a former player and executive with the franchise, was asked on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" about his thoughts.

"I want the coach to be Hurley," Johnson said.

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The Lakers legend added the signing would benefit Hurley and the franchise.

"He's great with offensive and defensive strategy," Johnson said. "I think the players will respect him, and he's tough. The Lakers gotta have somebody who will hold them accountable."

Magic Johnson broke down why the LA Lakers have been unsuccessful against teams like the Denver Nuggets, suggesting the team lacks physicality. He added the Lakers need to get tougher mentally, too.

Dan Hurley seems like someone who can bring that intensity while being technically sound with Xs and Os. Winning back-to-back NCAA championships sums up his pedigree and what he can bring to the Lakers.


Lakers want Dan Hurley for long term and player developmental program

The LA Lakers began the coaching search, hoping to land someone long-term. They haven't had someone like that since Phil Jackson left in 2011. The Lakers have seen six full-time coaches in that span and an interim coach leading the charge.

The last two coaches, Frank Vogel and Darvin Ham lost the locker rooms and were unsuccessful in developing young players. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers are eyeing Dan Hurley to improve that and instill a program that could help their younger players emerge.

Most successful teams have been down that path recently, building through the draft instead of splurging in the trade or free agency market, similar to what the LA Lakers have done in the past. That got them a championship in 2020 after the blockbuster Anthony Davis trade, but it hasn't been a successful model since.

If Hurley can replicate his college success with players like Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, Jalen Hood-Schifino and Maxwell Lewis, along with other potential prospects, the Lakers could build a long-term core that can prolong the team's window beyond LeBron James' tenure.

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Edited by Arhaan Raje
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