The Toronto Raptors’ coaching search after the firing of Nick Nurse has been anything but conventional. Not only have names like Becky Hammon managed to wiggle their way into the collective consciousness of this fanbase, but JJ Redick has become one of the most discussed names in Canadian sports today.
Redick, who has spent his post-playing career on TV as an analyst for ESPN, was interviewed by the Raptors as they search for their next head coach. This is certainly an unusual choice, as Redick has not been on an NBA sideline in any coaching capacity in his life.
NBA Twitter was completely bemused by this decision. While Redick was a well-respected veteran player with a long career and has proven himself to be a sharp mind on television, hiring someone with as many NBA games coaches as you and I could be a risky proposition.
Raptors Twitter, and NBA Twitter as a collective, reacted to this news with a mixture of confusion, optimism (or coping, depending on your perspective), and all sorts of predictions when it comes to what a team led by Reddick can accomplish.
NBA Twitter reacts to Toronto Raptors/JJ Redick news.
Kendrick Perkins, Redick’s co-worker at ESPN, is a fan of this move, saying he would “demand the locker room” and “speak the players (sic) language” while praising his basketball smarts. Perk wants more former players as coaches.
Former 76ers wing and Celtics assistant Evan Turner joked about Redick coaching his son’s basketball team, saying that his stint was apparently so impressive that Masai got on the horn with him.
Redick has no NBA coaching experience, which is not what fans of a Raptors team that disappointed mightily last season would want to see. Perhaps bring him on as an assistant first?
Some were a bit less optimistic about the Raptors’ chances of contending with Redick, with one fan hoping for relocation instead of the team bringing Redick in as the coach. That’s one way to make your position on the matter firmly known.
The idea of one of the best shooters in NBA history in Redick taking over a Raptors team that was oftentimes painfully ineffective from 3-point range. If Nurse, who wrote a book on shooting, couldn’t fix them, would Redick?
Redick’s candidacy has made him the most controversial name in the Raptors’ head coaching search. He could be a Steve Nash-type flop if he fails, but the Raptors could also and a rising star in the industry if they get in on the ground floor before anyone else does.