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Here are 3 reasons Dan Hurley is staying at UConn

Head coach Dan Hurley of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates with Stephon Castle #5 during the National College Basketball Championship game against the Purdue Boilermakers at State Farm Stadium on April 08, 2024 in Glendale, Arizona.
Mitchell Layton
Head coach Dan Hurley of the Connecticut Huskies celebrates with Stephon Castle #5 during the National College Basketball Championship game against the Purdue Boilermakers at State Farm Stadium on April 08, 2024 in Glendale, Arizona.

Dan Hurley is staying at UConn. Coming off back-to-back national championships, the celebrated Husky men’s basketball coach Monday spurned an offer from the Los Angeles Lakers to join them and more than double his salary in the process.

Aman Kidwai, longtime writer for The UConn Blog, has three reasons why the Lakers’ reported six-year, $70-million offer wasn’t enough to lure coach Hurley to the NBA.

1. The Lakers are the wrong team for Hurley 

The Los Angeles Lakers are tied for the all-time NBA lead with 17 championships. But the last three seasons have not gone well—even with superstar Lebron James in the lineup. They’ve finished no better than 7th in the NBA’s Western Conference during that span. And with James currently 39 years old and a potential free agent, Kidwai said Hurley would have been walking into a very difficult situation.

“You've got executives that meddle, you've got an ownership that meddles,” Kidwai said. “And then also a star player [Lebron James] that you have to deal with who might make you draft his son [USC Trojan guard Bronny James] with your first-round pick.”

Kidwai thinks Hurley would be happier with an NBA team comprised of younger players.

“I think he'd want more of a situation [where] you can build something from the ground up,” Kidwai said.

2. Complete control at UConn

At UConn, Dan Hurley has the type of control that Kidwai thinks he could never have with any NBA team.

“Dan Hurley has complete control of the situation top to bottom and runs the program in his vision.” Kidwai said.

3. Family and regional ties

Dan Hurley’s ties to the northeastern United States run deep. He grew up in New Jersey, where his father, Bob Sr., was a legendary high school basketball coach. It was in New Jersey that Hurley became a prep basketball star, a college basketball star and a first-time head coach. Much of he and his wife, Andrea’s friend and family network remains in the northeast.

“We know that he had to plead with his wife to move to Rhode Island for the URI [University of Rhode Island] job,” Kidwai said. “The idea of them moving across the country? It seemed like something they didn't want to do, something that came up when Hurley had the interest from Kentucky earlier this offseason.”

A win for UConn...for now 

Kidwai said Hurley’s decision to stay is a big win for UConn.

“They have a coach who could be coaching anywhere, but chooses to be right there in Storrs,” Kidwai said. “All of the happy feelings and momentum that UConn fans had one week ago, before they ever knew about any of this, it's all back there and just a little bit stronger because now fans have kind of reckoned with the possibility of things getting shaken up.”

Kidwai cautioned that UConn and Husky fans everywhere should prepare to get “shaken up” by NBA interest every off season from now on while Hurley remains in Storrs. For now, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said the state would make sure Hurley is the top-paid college coach if he remained with the Huskies.

“I think he will be an attractive option for the NBA, but I don't think it's going to be just any NBA team or any NBA job,” Kidwai said. “And I and I don't think it's that top of mind for him to go to the NBA, you know, like as soon as possible. But, absolutely, It'll be an ongoing concern."

John Henry Smith is Connecticut Public’s host of All Things Considered, its flagship afternoon news program. He's proud to be a part of the team that won a regional Emmy Award for The Vote: A Connecticut Conversation. In his 21st year as a professional broadcaster, he’s covered both news and sports.

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