"They need a coach with some fire": LeBron James’ ex-teammate on why Dan Hurley is perfect fit to make Lakers ‘uncomfortable’ again

Udoni Haslem on why Dan Hurley is perfect fit to make Lakers ‘uncomfortable’ again
Udoni Haslem on why Dan Hurley is perfect fit to make Lakers ‘uncomfortable’ again (Image credit - Instagram/Udonis Haslem and Dan Hurley)

Udonis Haslem, a Miami Heat icon, has recently offered his take on reports linking Dan Hurley with the Los Angeles Lakers’ head coaching position. Haslem, who clinched two NBA championships playing alongside LeBron James in Miami, explained why he feels Hurley would be a great choice for the Lakers to bring in some new energy.

While at the helm of the University of Connecticut men’s basketball team, Hurley secured consecutive national crowns in the seasons of 2022-23 and 2023-24. Haslem described on ESPN’s “Get Up” how Hurley’s energy and intensity could be a huge addition to the success of the team.

"Now you talk about a guy who comes in with that fire and that battery and that energy," Haslem said. "That's what the Lakers need. They need to shake it up a little bit. They need a coach with some fire. They need a coach with some energy. They need to get back to being uncomfortable. That's the guy that's gonna push the button. I love this move."

Haslem emphasized that the Lakers' current roster needs a push to get out of their comfort zone.

"I think understanding that just because Bron doesn’t have to practice every day doesn’t mean everybody doesn’t have to practice every day," he said as per the ESPN interview. "Those guys still need to be honing their skills and still building those habits."

Over the past four seasons, Dan Hurley has led UConn to the NCAA Tournament each year. Before UConn, he brought the University of Rhode Island to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances. His best season at Wagner College was an impressive 25-6 record.

Since joining the Lakers in the 2018-19 season, three different head coaches have led the team while James was playing: Luke Walton, Frank Vogel and Darvin Ham. Vogel managed to win a championship with them during 2019-20, but the team struggled to keep up with consistent success afterward.

Haslem sees Dan Hurley's unique background as an advantage. Unlike his predecessors, Hurley has never held an NBA head coaching position, but his collegiate success might be just what the Lakers need.

"I love shaking things up a little bit," Haslem said. "If they want to get back in those championship conversations, if they’re going to be considered a serious contender in the West, they gotta get back comfortable being uncomfortable."

Dan Hurley set to meet with Lakers for head coach position

Dan Hurley is poised to meet with the Los Angeles Lakers regarding their head coach vacancy, according to Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN's NBA Countdown.

"Dan Hurley is going to meet tomorrow with Rob Pelinka — the Lakers' VP and GM — and Jeanie Buss, their owner," Wojnarowski reported.

The discussions will explore the potential framework of a partnership between Dan Hurley and the Lakers. The Lakers have aggressively pursued Hurley, with Wojnarowski noting that these negotiations have significant traction.

"This is a situation for Dan Hurley where the opportunity to sign a long and very lucrative contract is available," Wojnarowski said.

Dan Hurley's current contract, signed after the 2023 championship, is a six-year deal worth $32.1 million, with a buyout clause of $1.875 million.

The Lakers are looking for a new coach after firing Darvin Ham in May following two seasons. According to reports, the Lakers want to offer Hurley a big contract for many years as they design a team that can win the championship with Anthony Davis, even though they are not certain about LeBron James’ future. By June 29, James will need to decide whether or not he wants to take up his 2024-25 player option, which is worth $51.4 million.

What could Alabama basketball's 2024-25 starting lineup look like? Find out here

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