Dan Hurley Ripped for Turning Down Lakers: ‘Stand up & Be Bigger’

dan hurley

Getty UConn mens' basketball coach Dan Hurley.

The Los Angeles Lakers‘ courtship of UConn men’s basketball coach Dan Hurley ended in disappointment as he decided to stay put. Hurley has won back-to-back championships at UConn and is looking to complete the first three-peat in men’s college basketball since John Wooden did it at UCLA in the early 70s.

The allure of taking over as head coach of the NBA’s marque franchise wasn’t enough for Hurley to pass up on that opportunity. According to a June 10 X post from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers offered the coach a six-year, $70 million contract, which far exceeds what UConn can pay him.

While many are blaming the Lakers for not being able to land Hurley, FOX Sports’ Rob Parker ripped into the coach for not taking on the challenge.

“Dan Hurley is crazy,” Parker said on the June 10 episode of “The Odd Couple.” “Dan Hurley will regret this going forward. What are you thinking? … Really, Dan Hurley? The guy nobody knows. They know your brother Bobby Hurley better than you. … You didn’t want to be the whole enchilada in Los Angeles. … Instead, you want to be small potatoes with no ketchup. Stand up and be bigger.”

Though a three-peat would be a huge achievement, Hurley has already cemented himself as arguably the best coach in college basketball. The logical next step would be going to the NBA and there is no bigger job than being the head coach of the Lakers.

Will Dan Hurley Regret Not Taking Los Angeles Lakers Job?

Things are changing in college basketball. With NIL taking over, it’s going to be more difficult for schools like UConn to get top-end players. Football brings in the most money to be able to pay players and UConn is not known as a football powerhouse.

Teams like Alabama, USC, Texas and other traditional football powers could start seeing an influx of basketball talent. Winning back-to-back championships is hard enough and UConn has an uphill battle to win their third with much of their talent headed to the NBA draft.

Hurley will likely get other NBA opportunities but it’s hard to imagine the Lakers will go down this road again. He had his chance to coach the league’s biggest brand and turned them down in a very public way. If he does win a third straight championship, he likely won’t have any regrets but if things start to go downhill in UConn, it’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t have some regret about not taking the Lakers’ offer.

What Do Los Angeles Lakers Do Now?

The Lakers have had an odd coaching search. For a while, it looked like the head coach would either be JJ Redick or James Borrego until they pivoted to Hurley. Borrego is in the mix for the Cleveland Cavaliers job and Redick hasn’t actually met with the Lakers in person yet.

At this point, Los Angeles is in a tough spot. Anybody they hire is going to be looked at as the team’s No. 2 choice. That could hurt the egos of a number of coaching candidates. The Lakers would be wise to try and make a decision soon but it appears that they’re going to continue to take their time.

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