LeBron’s former rival irritated by Dan Hurley potentially getting $100M from Lakers

Mike Battaglino
3 Min Read
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

With the NBA world keeping a close eye on the Los Angeles Lakers’ coaching search, Kevin Garnett is expressing some irritation that Dan Hurley reportedly could land the job with a deal that may be worth $100 million.

LeBron James’ former rival seems to be irked by an idea that a hire of Hurley could be more about a patient plan rather than a high-profile quick fix that might include a big-time player addition this offseason as well.

The University of Connecticut coach reportedly has emerged as the Lakers’ top candidate, taking over that distinction from ESPN analyst J.J. Redick, who reportedly remains firmly in the hunt. The Lakers are looking to replace Darvin Ham, who was fired last month after they were eliminated in the first round of the 2024 NBA Playoffs.

Both Redick and Hurley are well-known names who would add some juice to the Lakers’ head-coaching role. But neither has coached in the NBA before, and there almost certainly will be some growing pains along the way.

That may not perfectly coincide with the closing window of James’ career. The 39-year-old will be playing his 22nd NBA season in the 2024-25 campaign, and despite still maintaining a high level of play this season, he is running out of time to win his fifth NBA title.

The superstar also could opt out of his contract this offseason and become a free agent, which makes this hire even more significant. He and Redick share a podcast, and interestingly, James gushed about Hurley on social media after the coach appeared on Redick’s other podcast.

Hurley has won back-to-back NCAA national championships using “really intense” practices at UConn and has developed an excellent reputation for player development. As Garnett insinuated, that could mean that with his possible hire, the Lakers are looking more toward their long-term future rather than an all-in philosophy for right now to get James another ring before he ultimately steps away.

Garnett undoubtedly will not be the only prominent NBA observer who will weigh in during the Lakers’ hiring process and on the ultimate result. It will be very interesting to see how it all plays out, especially on the court next season.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.