NBA

Lakers forget about JJ Redick and target UConn’s Dan Hurley as potential head coach

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The Lakers have been pursuing the best possible head coach to replace Darvin Ham this summer, after the discharging him at the end of a campaign that only lasted until the playoff’s first round. After two months of looking for options, recent reports suggest that they are preparing a long-term proposal to hire UConn men’s basketball Dan Hurley.

Coaching legend Geno Auriemma, who trains the women’s team in the Connecticut university, was asked recently about this possibility and he revealed that he was talking to Dan last week about how they would fare if they were given a chance in the NBA.

“I leaned over and said, ‘Hey, I think you could win a lot of championships with the Lakers, more so than a guy that’s never coached,'” Auriemma said on the Dan Patrick Show. “He just looked at me and nodded, we had a good laugh.”

Even though Geno admitted he had no idea of the purple and gold interest at the time, he did say that it would be a sad day for Connecticut if Hurley went away.

“This morning, I wake up and, voila,” the veteran tactician told Patrick. “So, I don’t know what’s going on. It’d be a bad day for UConn if this happens. It would be a great, great day for Dan Hurley, and I’m sure a bittersweet day for Dan Hurley.”

Going off to Los Angeles would definitely be a game changer for Dan, as he already has his future secured in Connecticut. Having conquered back-to-back national titles in just six years on the job, you can understand why the Lakers wish to hire him as head coach.

Auriemma knows that Hurley would keep earning titles if he stayed. “The state of college basketball is a mess,” he assured. “If anybody could manage it, though, it could be Danny. He coaches this program like it’s a high school program, like he coached at St. Benedict’s. Their player development program is second to none.”

He even dared to say that his colleague shouldn’t take the job. “If Danny were to leave and somebody said to me, ‘He just took this NBA job,’ I won’t name any particular city, I would say, ‘You’re set up for failure.’ But it’s the Lakers,” Geno said.

Los Angeles’ interest in hiring Hurley took the NBA by storm, as many insiders never expected something like this to happen

The news is shocking, yes. One of the most successful franchises in league history is considering to offer a job to someone who has never trained in the NBA before? Well, it wouldn’t be the first time, as Darvin Ham also made his head coaching debut on the purple and gold bench.

Insider Zach Lowe was one who couldn’t fathom this possibility. “The reaction around the league for the last 48 hours…and this includes like coaching agents I talked to who have at least been on the periphery of this process with their clients was, ‘What?’ Like, people did not hear a whisper of this. I didn’t hear a whisper of this,” he said Saturday on The Lowe Post.

While addressing the opportunity that might be handed over to Hurley, Lowe explained how the Lakers team would benefit from the coach’s offensive mindset. However, he still believes that the tactician isn’t yet tailored to the reality of the NBA, but only of college basketball.

“There is no doubt about Dan Hurley’s tactical acumen on any level. In-game adjustments, big-picture creativity, philosophical creativity,” the expert explained. “The only question is what you and I have said about his intensity–scaling it down to fit the NBA rhythms and pace of an 82-game schedule.”