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Lakers botched the Dan Hurley situation

Dan Hurley Lakers
Dan Hurley turned down the Los Angeles Lakers head coaching job on Monday. (Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Lakers botched the Dan Hurley situation

On Thursday morning, we were all, collectively, blindsided by the fact that the Los Angeles Lakers were prepared to offer a “massive, long-term contract offer” to UConn’s Dan Hurley to be the team’s next head man, filling the vacancy that’s been open for a month. All the original reporting suggested that JJ Redick, however, who has never coached at any level, was the favorite, even though Wojnarowski stated that Hurley was at the “forefront” of the team’s search the entire time.

Both Hurley’s people and the Lakers’ brass did a masterful job at keeping their somewhat mutual interest tight to their chest–and we were all led to believe that the Lakers were going to make a god-like offer that exceeded $100 million.

Though the 51-year-old head coach ultimately declined to accept the team’s reported six-year, $70 million offer. What could we take away?

Perhaps the biggest thing we could continue to take away was from a journalistic perspective: Stories develop, and information changes over time. There are noteworthy leaks that were never actually leaked and there is valuable information behind the scenes that will never get revealed publicly. Every major outlet had Redick as the favorite before this proverbial “Woj bomb.”

Though that falls in line with what the Lakers offered to get Hurley: Six years for $70 million. It didn’t supersede nine figures, the suspected offer. It wasn’t $90 million or even $80 million.

For perspective, Kentucky–one of the most prestigious programs in college basketball–was reportedly willing to offer Hurley $11 million per year, one that he refused. Do the math, and the Lakers’ offer was worth $11.6 million per year.

We probably will never know if that was the Lakers’ final final offer or one of their first offers. Obviously, it wasn’t their very first, but since that was the number that was reported, we can say they botched that situation.

Dan Hurley is a golden goose; he’s a white whale. You could argue he’s one of the best coaches in America, regardless of any level in any profession. The Lakers are also one of the most valuable organizations, not only in basketball, but in American sports.

The Lakers may have thought they had enough prestige to lure Hurley away for below-market value. Though to poach a reigning two-time national champion away from the East Coast–where he was born, raised and where he’s built his livelihood–you have to actually make a god-like offer … not $70 million over six years, even if it makes him a top-6 paid head coach, respectfully.

To many of us, that money life-changing. But we’re not Dan Hurley, nor will Hurley–a fiery, innovative, charismatic basketball genius–ever be just a standard human. He’s already making eight figures at UConn and has nothing left to prove to anyone in college basketball.

We don’t know if Hurley didn’t accept because there weren’t enough years (to the deal), enough money, enough control over the current and future roster/coaching staff, etc.; we don’t know if he felt like it wasn’t worth it to move away from his family, his team that he built the entire offseason building, or his assistants, which somehow hasn’t been touch by any other Division-I program the last few seasons.

Sure, Hurley has never been an NBA coach and would have to adapt to a professional setting with his mannerisms on the sideline. From simple in-game adjustments to implementing one of the most complex, modernized offenses in college basketball, he’s been incredibly adaptable and intuitive throughout his coaching career.

To my point earlier: There’s information that will likely never get revealed to us. But the information that was disclosed regarding the offer was damning not only to the Lakers, but to general manager Rob Pelinka, who’s proven to have full autonomy from owner Jeanie Buss.

We know what we know, and we don’t know what we don’t know. But what we do know is that Dan Hurley had enough cojones to reject the Los Angeles Lakers head coaching job … showing just as much about the Lakers–from the top-down–than it does Hurley.


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