After traveling to Los Angeles and hearing a sales pitch from the Laker brass, back-to-back national championship head Coach Dan Hurley turned down the 6-year $70 million deal offered by owner Jeanie Buss. The contract would have made him the sixth highest-paid coach in the league without spending a second on an NBA sideline.

The UConn headman decided to stay because of family ties and unfinished business. His wife is from New Jersey, and both parties have lived on the East Coast their entire life. Hurley’s brother and father coached in high school and college basketball but never made the jump to the NBA.

Along with personal connections, Hurley wants to etch his name in the sport’s lore as the Huskies attempt a three-peat, the first since UCLA won seven straight titles from 1967 to 1973. Key pieces to their roster left for the pros, including C Donovan Clingan, but Hurley reloaded in the portal while three of his top six in his rotation last year returned. Fan Duel puts UConn’s odds to win the national title at +1000, the betting favorite.

Meanwhile, the Lakers are left to pick up the pieces as their coaching search drags on for its sixth week since firing Darvin Ham. They are still the only team in the NBA without a sideline general after being publicly turned down.

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Many expect Los Angeles to reevaluate JJ Reddick or James Borrego, who they interviewed before the pursuit for Hurley became public. It is unclear whether being the clear second favorite affects how either candidate views the position. The uncertain future of LeBron James hangs over the job as the superstar can opt out of his contract when free agency begins at the beginning of July. The Lakers made the playoffs by winning their first play-in game but lost to the Denver Nuggets in the first round.

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