Every head coach LeBron James has had in the NBA, from Paul Silas to JJ Redick

For the 10th time in his 21-season NBA career, LeBron James has a new head coach.

The Los Angeles Lakers reportedly hired former NBA player JJ Redick on a four-year contract on Thursday, bringing in a coaching rookie to manage a team with clear championship aspirations that has fallen well short of its goal since its 2020 title. Much of those aspirations are attributable to James. And while James has a player option for 2024-25, it would be a surprise if he doesn't stay in L.A. to play for his podcast co-host, Redick.

With James comes expectation, with expectation comes pressure and with pressure comes consequences if you fail to meet that expectation. For much of James' career, that has led to a fairly regular movement through a parade of head coaches.

Some of those coaches never got a head coaching job again, while three of them are now among the league's highest-paid head coaches. Here are all 10 of the hirings, and endings, that James has experienced with the Lakers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat.

Previous job: New Orleans Hornets head coach

How it started: After selecting James with the No. 1 pick of the 2003 NBA Draft, the Cavaliers tapped Silas to be the teenager's first head coach and mentor. Silas was only available after he was surprisingly fired by the Hornets despite leading them to the playoffs for four straight seasons.

Silas was known to be a more old-school coach, which might have been what James needed given that his teammates that year were famously hostile to the idea of a 19-year-old walking in and immediately becoming more famous than them. The coach banned James' entourage from practices and helped him win the 2004 NBA Rookie of the Year Award.

Where it went wrong: The Cavaliers grew frustrated with a post-All-Star-break slump in James' sophomore year and opted to cut Silas loose despite holding a playoff spot at 34-30. The decision wasn't really a surprise to James given the vibe of clubhouse, with general manager Jim Paxson saying James' drift from being a passer to shooter had hurt the team.

Longtime NBA assistant Brendan Malone was named the interim coach, leading Cleveland to an 8-10 finish and ninth-place finish, out of the playoffs. Silas died in 2022.

Previous job: Indiana Pacers assistant coach

How it started: Brown was brought it in from relative anonymity and given one priority: get LeBron James into the playoffs. In that, he was successful.

The Cavaliers made the playoffs in all five seasons with Brown at the helm, reaching the NBA Finals in 2007 (where they got swept by the San Antonio Spurs) and winning 60-plus games in 2008-09 and 2009-10. James ascended to superstardom in that span of time, but fans were increasingly left to wonder if the team could provide him any help.

Where it went wrong: It's funny to think that despite James' reputation as a coach killer, he really only had two head coaches in seven seasons with the Cavaliers. However, James was often critical of Brown in their later years together, and team owner Dan Gilbert cut Brown loose with the hope that could help convince James to re-sign with the Cavs rather than answer the call of South Beach.

Gilbert actually ended up rehiring Brown three years later after a stint with the Lakers, calling the decision to fire him a "mistake." Gilbert fired Brown again after one season. Brown went on to join the Sacramento Kings, where he recently signed a big extension.

Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra talks with LeBron James during the first quarter against the San Antonio Spurs in Game 4 of the NBA Finals at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, on Thursday, June 13, 2013. (Joe Cavaretta/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Erik Spoelstra coached LeBron James for four years in Miami. (Joe Cavaretta/Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Previous job: Miami Heat assistant coach

How it started: Spoelstra is a fun case in that James wanted him fired at the beginning of their tenure together, rather than the end. After 15 games with the Heat, with a 9-8 record, James asked team president Pat Riley if he was interested in coaching again, after being visibly frustrated with the inexperienced Spoelstra.

Riley held firm and kept Spoelstra as head coach. The reward was four straight trips to the NBA finals and two championships, making Spoelstra the only coach to win multiple championships with James. Some will wonder why they didn't win more with prime Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh also aboard.

Where it went wrong: James decided to leave after falling to the Spurs in the 2014 NBA Finals, opting to reunite with a rebuilt Cavaliers organization. However, he has since spoken glowingly of Spoelstra, who remains in Miami and has guided the team to two more NBA Finals. Spoelstra figures to be there much longer after signing an eight-year, $120 million extension.

Previous job: Maccabi Tel Aviv head coach

How it started: The Cavaliers went outside the box hiring Blatt, a coach who was well-regarded in Europe with zero NBA experience as a player or coach. A few weeks later, James announced he was returning to Cleveland and Blatt's friends were calling him "the luckiest man in the world."

At best, you could say it was an interesting fit, with a coach bringing unorthodox coaching methods and strategies to a team with James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. However, James was reportedly surprised by the hire, and that the team didn't wait for him to give any input.

Where it went wrong: It's hard to say where it really went right. Blatt was a rookie on a team with veterans, with an offensive system that didn't really match the individual talents of his exceptionally talented players. It's weird to call a 53-29 season with a trip to the NBA Finals a disappointment, especially when they might have beaten the Golden State Warriors with a healthy Irving and Love, but that's how it felt.

There is no shortage of anecdotes about James and Blatt not jelling, and the inevitable came to pass midway through Year 2, when the Cavaliers fired Blatt, who never coached in the NBA, and hired...

Previous job: Cleveland Cavaliers assistant coach

How it started: Lue opted to join the Cavaliers as an assistant under Blatt despite having interviewed for the top job, and spent some of his time as an assistant getting close to James. Obviously, that paid off.

James got what he wanted with Lue's promotion and it paid off in historic fashion. Lue led the Cavaliers to their now-legendary 2016 NBA Finals win, with two more trips to the Finals in the cards (though no more wins thanks to the Warriors' addition of Kevin Durant).

Where it went wrong: Despite their success in the East, the Cavaliers were a study in decay after their 2016 title. Love got older and struggled with injuries. Irving hit the eject button because he wanted to be less of a Robin. J.R. Smith did the most J.R. Smith thing of all time.

Once again, James opted to leave town after losing in the Finals. The Cavaliers kept Lue, but opted to fire him after an 0-6 start the next season. He later became a candidate for the Lakers job, which would have been a reunion with James, but contract negotiations went sour and he became the Clippers head coach instead. He doesn't have a ring in L.A., but he does have a big contract and a 12-3 record against the Lakers.

Previous job: Golden State Warriors assistant coach

How it started: Like Spoelstra, Walton was an unproven incumbent who had James show up and change everything.

Much was made about how James would work alongside the Lakers' young core of Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kyle Kuzma. James praised his young teammates and really seemed like he wanted to be part of a rising franchise, rather than immediately assemble a collection of older stars.

Where it went wrong: You know that scene in "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith" where the younglings ask Anakin Skywalker for help? Imagine that in Los Angeles in 2019.

After a disastrous season in which the Lakers went 37-45, with James fighting injuries and his new teammates struggling to find a fit around him, the Lakers parted ways with Walton and traded almost everything that wasn't nailed down for Anthony Davis.

Previous job: Orlando Magic head coach

How it started: The Lakers clearly wanted an adult in charge once they were all-in on the James-Davis duo and found one with Vogel, who consistently led the Indiana Pacers to the playoffs but struggled to find any footing with the Magic.

Vogel's defensive scheme worked wonders in Los Angeles, however. Playing James at point guard gave the Lakers a significant size advantage and, more importantly, an identity. The rebounding and defense almost looked easy, while James' playmaking was all the team needed to win the 2020 Finals in the Disney World bubble.

Where it went wrong: It would be unfair to say it was all Russell Westbrook. That said, with hindsight being 20-20, the Lakers clearly panicked after an injury-plagued 42-30 season the next year and paid a star's worth of assets to acquire Westbrook's enormous contract.

Westbrook proved to be an awful fit alongside James and clashed with Vogel, to the point the coach was reportedly fired for his inability to make Westbrook fit properly after a 33-49 season. Keep in mind that from owner to general manager to head coach to superstar, Vogel played the smallest role in trading for Westbrook.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 04: Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham and LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers look on against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Amway Center on November 04, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Rich Storry/Getty Images)
Darvin Ham didn't last long in Los Angeles. (Photo by Rich Storry/Getty Images)

Previous job: Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach

How it started: While he didn't have NBA head-coaching experience, Ham was well-respected from his time as an assistant with the Bucks after they won a championship in 2021.

Ham began his Lakers tenure by doing what Vogel was never able to do: moving Westbrook to the bench. Unfortunately, that didn't help the Lakers avoid a 2-10 start in Ham's rookie year. They righted the ship enough to finish 43-39 (trading Westbrook at midseason) and reach the Western Conference finals, but ended up getting swept by the Denver Nuggets.

Where it went wrong: After winning 43 games, sneaking into the playoffs via the play-in tournament and getting blown out by the Nuggets in 2023, the Lakers ... won 47 games, snuck into the playoffs via the play-in tournament and got blown out by the Nuggets in 2024.

Firing Ham was an easy button to push, as the team continued to look stagnant despite featuring two of the best players in the world. Laker fans certainly took issue with some of Ham's decision-making, as they did with his predecessors.

Previous job: podcaster

How it started: The Lakers have so far hired a veteran head coach and a rising assistant coach to manage James. In Redick, they are going a third route with James’ podcast co-host. It feels beyond parody that Los Angeles thinks the best man to manage its bench is the guy who sits across the microphone from its best player, especially when Redick quite publicly wasn't the team's first choice.

Now we just have to find out if it will work.