Dan Hurley Confirms There Was Number That Would Have Made Him Leave UConn For Lakers
Dan Hurley, Lakers, UConn
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Lakers made a hard push to make Dan Hurley their next head coach although he ultimately turned them down in favor of staying at UConn.

Hurley understandably wanted to stay home to chase a third straight National Championship, although it turns out money may have played a factor as well.

Early in the Lakers’ pursuit, it was reported that they were planning to give Hurley a monster offer of at least $100 million. After he declined though, it came out that the offer was actually only six years and $70 million.

While that would have made him the sixth-highest paid coach in the NBA, a solid number for someone with no experience at that level, he had a similar extension from UConn on the table and obviously didn’t feel that was enough to move his family across the country.

On the Dan Le Batard Show with Stu Gotz though, Hurley confirmed that there was a number that would have made him leave UConn for the Lakers:

“Yeah, I think to leave there probably is. To leave a place at any moment in your life, I think to say that it’s not a motivating factor – the finances –to leave a place, it’s definitely a thing. To stay at a place, I don’t think it’s ever gonna be a thing. To stay somewhere like UConn, it would have never been a financial thing. Like again, this wasn’t some like pressure tactic to make me the highest-paid college coach, that shit was already done. But to leave a place that you feel the way we do and the family connection with my wife and my sons, my mother-in-law,, my father who I know how much it means to my dad to go to the Big East Tournament and to come to 10 UConn games a year at home and sit courtside when I’m coaching against Rick Patino. Yeah, to leave all that behind, there probably is a number. I don’t know what that is.”

Many assumed that Hurley was just using the Lakers to leverage another extension from UConn, but he put those talks to bed:

“One of the worst takes I’ve heard is like this was a leverage play by me to improve my situation at UConn. Like, I don’t need leverage here. We’ve won back-to-back National Championships at this place. This was never a leverage situation for me. I’ve had a contract in place here for a couple of weeks and the financial part in terms of salary has been done for a while. Some other parts like NIL and staff salaries and some different things that I want adjusted that I’m not comfortable with, but the sense or the idea that this was some conspiracy to get me a sweeter deal at UConn, it’s just, it’s lazy. It was truly a gut wrenching decision for me. Sunday night going into Monday when I had kind of a deadline in my mind, I was like torn and I didn’t know really what I was gonna do until I went to bed.”

If Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka were really set on making Hurley the Lakers’ next coach then it’s clear they should have made him a bigger offer from the start. He, of course, could’ve countered with the contract figure that he wanted, but with him and his family’s known desire to stay in the Northeast part of the country, negotiating didn’t seem to be something he was interested in.

Regardless, the Lakers pursuit of Hurley is over and they are now shifting their focus back to other candidates with JJ Redick set to interview this weekend.

JJ Redick not holding Lakers’ pursuit of Dan Hurley against them

JJ Redick was the original frontrunner in the Lakers’ coaching search before the focus shifted to Dan Hurley. Now that they are circling back to Redick it is possible that he holds not being their first choice against them, but it appears that won’t be the case as he understands and accepts their pursuit of Hurley.

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