On Monday afternoon, the Los Angeles Lakers officially introduced JJ Redick as the franchise's next head coach in front of a sea of reporters at the team's practice facility. Rumors have been swirling for weeks now that Redick and the Lakers had mutual interest, and now that the former NBA sharpshooter is done commentating the NBA Finals for ESPN, he was free to sign a deal to take on arguably the most heavily scrutinized job in sports on his 40th birthday.

Of course, regardless of roster construction or common sense, there will always be an expectation of greatness by the Lakers' notoriously impatient fanbase, and one person who is going right along with that theme is football tight end turned professional LeBron James GOAT case arguer Shannon Sharpe, who recently took to ESPN's First Take to hit the Lakers with a stern warning now that they are under the leadership of one of the podcasting world's premier figures.

“It's kind of like when you graduate from one of these Ivy League schools, you have an expectation to get a very high paying job,” said Sharpe, via First Take on X, the social media platform formerly referred to as Twitter. “If you're the head coach of the Lakers or the Celtics, the expectation is championships. The Lakers have been to 32 NBA Finals, they've won 17… you know what the expectations are. You know what you signed up for… the Lakers fanbase, Lakers nation, they expect nothing less. It doesn't matter who the players are. All they see is purple and gold. And when you wear the purple and gold, you coach the purple and goal, the expectations are through the roof.”

Is a championship a realistic goal for LA?

Los Angeles Lakers head coach JJ Redick talks with his agent Steven Heunann following his introductory news conference at the UCLA Health Training Center.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


There is only so much that any head coach, even the most analytically savvy such as Redick, can do with a roster that is as flawed as the Lakers'. Consider that last year, both LeBron James and Anthony Davis played over 70 games (something that is highly unlikely to happen again), the rest of the roster enjoyed relatively fortunate health, and D'Angelo Russell and Austin Reaves both had the best seasons of their respective careers. All of that put together only netted the Lakers the eighth seed in a Western Conference playoff picture that is absolutely brutal and only figures to get even more contested with teams like the Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs expected to make big leaps in 2024-25.

The Lakers' roster at the current moment simply doesn't have enough perimeter defense, shooting, or secondary shot creating ability to truly be competitive against upper echelon teams in either the Western or Eastern conference, and there aren't any easy avenues to fix it. The team could theoretically swing a trade for a star like Trae Young or Donovan Mitchell, but that wouldn't alleviate the Lakers' point of attack defensive issues that plagued them throughout last season.

In any case, JJ Redick's hair might start graying quickly in a few months.