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Lakers made ‘compelling case’ to take head coach job, Dan Hurley says

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The Los Angeles Lakers appeared to have made the best case they could to bring Dan Hurley from the UConn Huskies to the legendary NBA franchise as the clock winds down for his decision.

Hurley plans to make a final decision on Monday, but he told ESPN the Lakers made a “compelling case” to leave college basketball, and the East Coast, for the glitz and glamor of Los Angeles.

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Dan Hurley in the tournament

UConn head coach Dan Hurley plans to make a decision about whether to join the Lakers on Monday. (AP Photo/Steven Senne/File)

He said he left his meeting with Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and team owner Jeannie Buss “extremely impressed.”

The Lakers and Hurley planned to “elevate discussions” about the possibility of the back-to-back national champion leading Los Angeles in the next couple of days, ESPN reported Thursday. The team reportedly plans to offer a “massive, long-term contract” to Hurley.

Hurley, 51, reportedly left the door open to follow his dream of being a head coach in the NBA despite wanting to stay in Storrs, Connecticut, to vie for a three-peat.

He signed a six-year, $32.1 million contract last summer, and the CT Insider reported in April another contract was being discussed.

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JJ Redick at a Magic game

Former Orlando Magic guard JJ Redick, center, leaves the court after being honored by the team during the first half against the New York Knicks, Feb. 14, 2024, in Orlando, Florida. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack/File)

The Lakers had also been rumored to be targeting J.J. Redick as their next head coach. The Athletic, cited by the New York Times, reported Tuesday the team was “zeroing in” on the former Duke star to take the reins. 

If he chooses Los Angeles, Hurley will replace Darvin Ham, who guided the team to the Western Conference Finals last year. He would also leave a gaping hole at the head coach position at UConn.

Should the Lakers’ pursuit of Hurley fail, ESPN reported that the team has interviewed several other candidates, and New Orleans Pelicans assistant coach James Borrego is one of the only candidates who had two in-person interviews.

LeBron James is also an apparent factor in the Lakers’ pursuit of Hurley. As the news first broke, James appeared to lend his support for Hurley as head coach.

“He’s so DAMN GOOD!!! Along with his staff. Super creative with their [offense]. Love it,” he wrote on X.

Dan Hurley at RAW

Dan Hurley (WWE/Getty Images/File)

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James is set to be a free agent and could be playing for a new team before the summer is over.

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