Magic Johnson endorses Dan Hurley as the next coach of the Lakers: 'He has a championship background'


Dan Hurley has surprisingly emerged as the top choice for the Los Angeles Lakers as they attempt to fill their head coaching vacancy, and so far, virtually every major stakeholder that has commented publicly has approved. In April, LeBron James shared his admiration for Hurley in response to a video clip of an interview between the UConn coach and JJ Redick, ironically another candidate for the Lakers job. “He’s so DAMN GOOD!!! Along with his staff. Super creative with their O! Love it,” James tweeted.

After Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Hurley got another major endorsement from a different Lakers superstar, albeit a retired one. Magic Johnson appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and threw his support behind Hurley.

“I want the coach to be Hurley,” Johnson said. “If we can sign him, I think it works for both. It works for coach Hurley, who won back to back NCAA championships with Connecticut, so he has a championship background. He’s great with offense and defensive strategy. I think that the players will respect him. And he’s tough. 

“The Lakers gotta have somebody who will hold them accountable. And also, we gotta play physical basketball. Denver will always beat us unless we become a much more physical team. So we’ve gotta get more physical. That’s why these two teams are playing in the Finals, Boston and Dallas, because they’re mentally tough and they’re physically tough. We’ve gotta get both mentally and physically tough.”

Johnson may no longer officially run the Lakers’ front office, but his longtime relationship with team owner Jeanie Buss still gives him a degree of influence in team matters. Johnson has referred to Buss as a sister before, and while the team was moving towards Hurley anyway, it’s certainly reassuring to hear that such an important Lakers icon supports the decision.

The Lakers are expected to meet with Hurley on Friday as the two sides hash out their visions of what a possible partnership might look like. Hurley has not yet decided whether or not he will leave Connecticut, and luring him to Los Angeles would surely cost a king’s ransom. But virtually every major Lakers figure appears to be onboard with the hire. Hurley is at the top of the college basketball world right now, and by all indications is ready for the jump to the NBA.





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