May 2, 2014, 2:24 PM EDT
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.
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