"He's brittle" - Stephen A. Smith shades Anthony Davis and "cruise control" D'Lo while discussing Dan Hurley's Lakers snub

Stephen A. Smith shades Anthony Davis and "cruise control" D
Stephen A. Smith shades Anthony Davis and "cruise control" D'Lo while discussing Dan Hurley's Lakers snub

UConn Huskies coach Dan Hurley declined the LA Lakers' massive coaching offer, opting to attempt to make NCAA history next season. According to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, Hurley's decision should be considered an indictment against the Lakers' lack of direction.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news on Monday, reporting that Hurley turned down a six-year, $70 million offer from LA. The deal reportedly would have made the 51-year-old one of the NBA's six highest-paid coaches.

However, per Wojnarowski, Dan Hurley "ultimately couldn't walk away from a chance to make history and pursue a third straight NCAA title." He added that Hurley will instead look to finalize a new deal with UConn to make him one of the NCAA's highest-paid coaches.

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On Monday's episode of "The Stephen A. Smith Show," Smith questioned Hurley's reasoning for snubbing the Lakers. He first highlighted how one of the league's premier franchises being unable to land a college coach isn't a good look.

"This, unfortunately, is kind of an indictment against the Los Angeles Lakers. I shouldn't even say kind of, I'm just trying to be kind," Smith said.
"The fact of the matter is if LeBron James is on your squad, if Anthony Davis is on your squad, and somehow, someway you're in a situation where you decide that you're gonnna remain at UConn and coach the Huskies ... that's an indictment against the Los Angeles Lakers."

Smith noted that Dan Hurley and his family may be attached to Storrs, Connecticut, and may not have wanted to relocate to LA. However, according to the ESPN personality, that shouldn't detract from the fact that the Lakers' coaching opening isn't a desirable long-term gig.

Smith highlighted the uncertainty looming over the franchise, including age and injury-related concerns surrounding superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The 56-year-old also touched on how unreliable many of the Lakers' role players are, including point guard D'Angelo Russell.

"What do the Lakers have? We don't really know at this particular moment in time," Smith said. "LeBron James is still all-world but he's approaching 40. Anthony Davis is all world but he's brittle. Who else do you have?
"Don't get me started with D'Angelo Russell. That brother walks around in cruise control for everything. Austin Reaves is talented but still has a ways to go. [Jarred] Vanderbilt ain't been healthy. Rui Hachimura is good but not great. You just fired Darvin Ham and his entire staff. You're the Los Angeles Lakers led by Jeanie Buss and Rob Pelinka. What do you have to offer?"

(From 2:31 mark onward)


LA is coming off a seventh-place (47-35) Western Conference finish and a 4-1 first-round playoff series loss against the Denver Nuggets.

In addition to their roster's future being mirky, the Lakers have experienced extensive coaching turnover in recent seasons. The franchise is searching for its fourth coach since 2019.

So, as Smith noted, Hurley likely preferred UConn's stability over the challenge of trying to lead LA back to championship contention.

Also Read: “He did not want that pressure”: Former NBA player subtly takes a shot at UConn HC Dan Hurley after rejecting $70M Lakers offer

Stephen A. Smith says Dan Hurley may have taken Knicks' coaching job if available

While Dan Hurley rebuffed the Lakers, Stephen A. Smith could still see him transitioning to the NBA in the right situation.

According to Smith, if a team with a brighter future, like the New York Knicks, made the same offer to Hurley, he may have accepted it.

"If the Lakers were a more attractive job, perhaps he'd be interested," Smith said.
"I'd make a legitimate argument that if he got offered the New York Knicks' job, he probably would have taken it. ... But the New York Knicks have 11 first-round picks over the next seven years. Plus, they were in the Eastern Conference semifinals in Game 7, 48 minutes away from advancing to the conference finals. They've got a future."

It's unclear if a stable NBA franchise with a clear pathway for improvement would have been enough for Dan Hurley to pass on a chance for a three-peat at UConn. Nevertheless, it appears Hurley will likely remain in the NCAA for the foreseeable future.

Also Read: “Make the Lakers look like desperate fools”: Barstool owner Dave Portnoy applauds UConn HC Dan Hurley for “brilliantly playing” with LA

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