JJ Redick Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images

The Toronto Raptors head coaching search has led them down an unusual path, reportedly interviewing former NBA sharpshooter and current ESPN analyst JJ Redick, according to league insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

Redick, who ranks 18th on the NBA’s all-time three-point list, has quickly emerged as a rising star in sports media, holding his own in debates with Stephen A. Smith and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, among other sparring partners.

The 38-year-old has been lauded for his hoops expertise on shows like First Take and Get Up, pushing back on many of the outdated and often false narratives accentuated by his older colleagues. Two weeks ago, Redick even hinted at his desire to become a coach while on First Take. He’s also made his presence felt in the podcast sphere with The Old Man and the Three (co-hosted by Tommy Altar) while making occasional appearances as a color commentator on ESPN’s NBA broadcasts.

The Raptors have already cast a wide net in their coaching search, meeting with Nuggets assistant David Adelman (son of longtime NBA coach Rick Adelman), former Nets bench boss Kenny Atkinson, and Becky Hammon of the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces. Whoever lands the job will have big shoes to fill, tasked with replacing Nick Nurse, who led Toronto to its first and only title in 2019.

This continues a fascinating trend in sports with teams increasingly open to interviewing candidates from the media world including Jeff Saturday, who went from ESPN to the Indianapolis Colts’ sideline and NFL Live’s Dan Orlovsky, who was considered for an assistant coaching position with the Panthers this offseason. Steve Kerr followed a similar trajectory, joining the Warriors after several seasons in the TNT broadcast booth.

[Adrian Wojnarowski]

About Jesse Pantuosco

Jesse Pantuosco joined Awful Announcing as a contributing writer in May 2023. He’s also written for Audacy and NBC Sports. A graduate of Syracuse’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications with a master’s degree in creative writing from Fairfield University, Pantuosco has won three Fantasy Sports Writers Association Awards. He lives in West Hartford, Connecticut and never misses a Red Sox, Celtics or Patriots game.