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Lakers Strike Out On Dan Hurley

The Los Angeles Lakers remain on the hunt for their new head coach for the 2024-25 season as frontrunner Dan Hurley announces he has declined the 6 year/70 million dollar offer and has chosen to return to the University of Connecticut as Head Coach, where he was won back-to-back NCAA championships with the Huskies.


The 51-year-old Dan Hurley has stated he is “humbled by this whole experience… focus right now is getting better this summer and connecting as a team as we continue to pursue championships”.


As anyone could expect, UConn are thrilled to have Hurley back at the helm next season, no one more so than their athletic director David Benedict, who stated "He has helped return our men's basketball program back to the pinnacle of the sport... and we're grateful for his loyalty to UConn". Hurley is currently in the 2nd year of his 6yr/33 million dollar contract with the University, the 6th biggest of any collegiate basketball coach.

 

Darvin Ham, who has since signed on with the Milwaukee Bucks as an assistant coach, had many Lakers fans excited for what his old-school attitude could achieve to get the most out of their team, though unfortunately for both sides the love quickly turned to scrutiny after some sub-par regular season records in the two seasons he was in charge, finishing as the 7 seed both seasons, and after a first round exit in 2024, he was let go by Rob Pelinka.


This leaves Pelinka in a tough spot, as Hurley was his certified number one option, and now has a few candidates to choose from. One name that’s popped up continuously in conversation is former NBA sharpshooter JJ Redick, who has a strong relationship with Free Agent superstar LeBron James from their joint ‘Mind the Game’ podcast.


Redick would certainly be an intriguing choice, and it would be interesting to see how he’d hold up to the egos in the Lakers locker room, considering it was only a few seasons ago he was competing with and against many of the guys on the team. Another name that’s been thrown around a bit is Sam Cassell, another former player, who has spent the last 9 years as an assistant coach to Doc Rivers for both the Clippers and 76ers.


Lakers Head Coach candidate Sam Cassell

Much like Redick, Cassell has a brilliant basketball mind, which was evident during his playing career as well as coaching, and I personally think he’d be an excellent choice for the job, as someone with enough experience to know how to get the best out of his players, along with his relatability to the players as a former All-Star himself.


Still, plenty of time for LA to sort it out, but no matter who they go with, it will certainly be a heavily scrutinized decision by the media and fans, not envious of Rob Pelinka right now.


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