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Report: UConn’s Ollie will listen to Lakers’ offer, but probably stays

May 2, 2014, 2:24 PM EDT

Kevin Ollie Kevin Ollie

UPDATE 2:55 pm: Adrian Wojarowski of Yahoo Sports basically confirms this story but adds a twist — Ollie and UConn are talking about a contract extension.

University of Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie has started discussions on a new contract with school officials, but hasn’t ruled out listening to NBA overtures, sources told Yahoo Sports….

Fresh off his masterful national championship coaching run this spring, Ollie is a consideration for the Los Angeles Lakers and is expected to move onto short lists as more NBA teams make coaching changes, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

2:24 pm: The best time to look at switching jobs is when you don’t need to.

When there is no pressure to take the next job, when you are comfortable and maybe even happy where you are at, you can evaluate any offers that come in evenly and compare them to what you already have.

That is where UConn basketball coach Kevin Ollie is at — by all reports he is very happy as the Huskies’ basketball coach, leading his alma mater to the NCAA championship last season.

But because he has an NBA pedigree — 13 years in the Association as a player, at the end of it one of those great locker room veterans teams love to have — and has shown he can coach, NBA teams are going to come calling. Every year. Starting this year, reportedly with the Lakers who are interested now that Mike D’Antoni is out the door.

The guy who played his high school ball in Los Angeles would listen, reports Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. But probably that’s all.

“He’ll listen, but he’s real committed to his alma mater,” said a person familiar with Ollie’s thinking.

NBA teams will come aggressively at him the next couple years because Ollie is a favorite of Kevin Durant — KD said Ollie showed him, Russell Westbrook and James Harden how to be professionals. Durant can be a free agent in 2016. You don’t need an advanced mathematics degree to draw the line there.

The Lakers need to think long term with their hire — don’t hire a guy to make Kobe Bryant happy, hire the guy to make the next face of the franchise happy. That said, you want to throw a rookie NBA coach in the shark tank with Kobe the next couple seasons?

I don’t see the Lakers as a fit.

But eventually Ollie will go pro and try his hand, almost all big time college coaches do (John Calipari, Rick Pitino, and the list goes on and on). If it doesn’t work out, you go back to college. Still, I expect Ollie to bask in the glow of UConn for a couple more years.

  1. aboogy123456 - May 2, 2014 at 2:43 PM

    I’m a Lakers fan and I’m rooting for Ollie to be the next coach. He seems like he will be a great coach one day, and most of the other options we already know who they are. Since next year is a rebuilding year for the Lakers, it would also be a good year for him to get accustomed to NBA coaching. I think the lakers will draft a point guard in this year’s draft, and he would be a good mentor to help the rookie develop.

    • sportsfan18 - May 2, 2014 at 8:09 PM

      Two hires ago… Mike Brown…

      Last hire… Mike D’Antoni…

      Has Jim Buss changed his stripes…

      He’s 0 for 2… and NOW he’s gonna hit a home run?

      I hope he hires John Calapari… I would LOVE that…

      Steeeeerike THREE!!!

  2. cantonb0und13 - May 2, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    Not everyday you get offer to become the head coach of the Lakers. If I’m Ollie I would take the offer. Unfortunately, that means Mr. Unreliable wants to play in L.A. in 2016. Durant to my eyes is still overrated.

    • duhwighthoward - May 2, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      Hahaha Durant is overrated? Name 5 players who are better!

      Ollie will not leave the BEST TEAM IN COLLEGE BASKETBALL to go to the WORST TEAM IN PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL.

      I would say you’re delusional, but actually you’re qualified to be part of the Lakers front office!

      • smoothaswilkes - May 2, 2014 at 6:03 PM

        You’re delusional. Worst franchise? Uh, okay.

      • asimonetti88 - May 2, 2014 at 6:15 PM

        “Ollie will not leave the BEST TEAM IN COLLEGE BASKETBALL to go to the WORST TEAM IN PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL.”

        The Bucks aren’t looking for a coach.

      • sportsfan18 - May 2, 2014 at 8:12 PM

        first, I didn’t say he was overrated, canton did…

        But you do KNOW that there does NOT have to be 5 better players for him to be overrated right?

        A player could be the hands down best player in the league and STILL be overrated…

        So WHAT does mentioning 5 players who are better than he is (there aren’t but THAT has NOTHING to do with a person being overrated) have to do with this?

    • smoothaswilkes - May 2, 2014 at 6:01 PM

      Get some glasses

  3. jolink653 - May 2, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    KD isn’t leaving OKC. They’ll lock him up long before he hits the market

  4. csbanter - May 2, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    Kobe Bryant is not listening to Kevin Ollie. With 2 years at most left in his career, Kobe is going to want to play for a coach with a proven NBA track record.

  5. fm31970 - May 2, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    Let’s revisit this after Saturday night’s Thunder-Grizzlies game, shall we?

    I see a lot of similarities between Ollie’s current situation and Brad Stevens’ move to the Celtics last year. Both young coaches who rose quickly at their schools, and with very bright futures. I think it would be a great move for the Lakers.

  6. unxpexted1 - May 2, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    The problem is their aren’t that many coaches out with a for real proven track record except maybe Bryon scott and George Karl who both have been to the finals, but no championships.

    The more and more I look at it I like Kevin Ollie for the Lakers. I think he is old enough to command enough respect, unlike maybe a brad stephens, from a Kobe type. He definitely seems to emphasize defense. But he is also young enough to help develop whatever young draft pick we have coming in.

    We need a coach with balance. George Karl and Bryon Scott have both been weary to deal with younger players and preferring veterans. We need a coach that can get the respect of the veterans but can bring in the new young Lakers look that we have to be moving towards in the next few years.

  7. cbking05 - May 2, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    I will coach the Lakers … I can do anything I put my mind to

    • stadix093 - May 2, 2014 at 5:29 PM

      I already believe you’re a better defensive coach than the last one.

    • asimonetti88 - May 2, 2014 at 6:17 PM

      Tell Jimbo you play a fast-paced offense and you’re good to go.

  8. jattsoorma - May 2, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    Lakers will suck whille Kobe is there regardless.

    • theebadguy - May 2, 2014 at 8:58 PM

      Garden variety trolling

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