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Sunday, June 16, 2024

Dan Hurley Spurns Lakers for UConn in Stunner

  • Hurley has led the Huskies to two straight national titles.
  • The coach was reportedly the Lakers’ top target.
Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Dan Hurley is staying in Storrs. 

The Connecticut men’s basketball coach has turned down the Lakers coaching job, according to ESPN. It would have made him one of the NBA’s highest-paid coaches at a deal for six years and $70 million. Hurley has led the Huskies to two consecutive NCAA championships and will now have a chance to chase a third title and become the first coach to three-peat since John Wooden and UCLA in the 1970s. 

Hurley met with Lakers officials late last week before returning to the East Coast to ponder the job. Los Angeles’s six-year offer implied that he would both finish out the LeBron James era and lead the team into its next phase after James retires.

The 51-year-old is currently one of college basketball’s highest-paid coaches at $5.25 million a year and was negotiating a contract extension before flirting with the Lakers. It seems nearly certain he will receive a significant raise for staying in Connecticut. He was reportedly the Lakers’ top target to replace Darvin Ham, whom the team fired in May. 

Hurley has been outspoken about his dislike for the current climate in college basketball, and many prominent college coaches have retired or fled to the pros as athletes have gained rights and compensation in the name, image, and likeness era. Hurley appeared more interested in the Lakers’ opening after rejecting Kentucky earlier this year.

The NBA could always come calling again for Hurley, who told Dan Patrick in April it’s something he eventually wants to try his hand at. That time is just not now. 

With Hurley out of the picture, the Lakers could now consider Pelicans assistant James Borrego or the broadcaster and retired player JJ Redick, who hosts a podcast with James. Redick was reported to be the heavy favorite for the job before the Lakers’ pursuit of Hurley became apparent in recent days.

This developing news story has been updated.

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