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#pounditSaturday, July 20, 2024

Dan Hurley blasts 1 narrative about his discussions with Lakers

Dan Hurley looks on

Feb 18, 2023; Storrs, Connecticut, USA; UConn Huskies head coach Dan Hurley watches from the sideline as they take on the Seton Hall Pirates at Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Hurley this week turned down a significant offer to become the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, and many have speculated that his interest in the job was never legitimate. Hurley says he is fed up with that narrative.

During a Thursday appearance on the “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz,” Hurley blasted those who have suggested he used the Lakers’ pursuit of him to strengthen his position in contract extension talks with UConn. The 51-year-old said the back-to-back national titles he won gave him all the leverage he needs.

“One of the worst takes I’ve heard is, like, this is a leverage play by me to improve my situation at UConn. I don’t need leverage here,” Hurley said. “We won back-to-back national championships at this place. This was never a leverage situation for me.

“I’ve had a contract in place here for a couple of weeks. The financial part, in terms of salary, has been done for a while. There’s some other parts like NIL and staff salaries and some different things that I want adjusted that I’m not comfortable with. But the sense or the idea that this was some conspiracy to get me a sweeter deal at UConn is just lazy. It was truly a gut-wrenching decision for me.”

You can never have enough leverage. Even if Hurley is telling the truth about giving strong consideration to the Lakers’ job, there is little question the negotiations helped his situation with UConn. We see that all the time with the top college coaches around the country after they contemplate making the jump to the pros.

Hurley is the seventh highest-paid coach in college basketball with a salary of $5 million. UConn is unlikely to match the offer that the Lakers made, but perhaps the flirtation allowed Hurley to secure some more of those NIL perks he mentioned.

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