PJ Carlesimo Says He Thinks Dan Hurley ‘Great Coach,’ Would Be Good Hire For Lakers

The idea that a college coach won’t work in the NBA “feels woefully outdated,” wrote Howard Beck of The Ringer.Dan Hurley, UConn,. Los Angeles Lakers It comes on the heels of the news that the Lakers are set to offer a job to UConn coach Dan Hurley, whose team has won back-to-back NCAA championships.

Hurley never played in the NBA nor has he ever coached in the NBA. 

In the old days, it was said that college coaches can’t have success in the pros. Brad Stevens seemed to disprove that notion with the Celtics. John Beilein did not with the Cavaliers.

P.J. Carlesimo also made the move (from Seton Hall to the Portland Trail Blazers in 1994). He did OK in the NBA — though his most memorable moment may be when one of his players, Latrell Sprewell, choked him at practice with the Warriors.

“I always thought it was inaccurate,” Carlesimo told Beck of college coaches not being able to succeed in the NBA. “This is a player’s league. If you have good players in this league, you’re going to be successful.”

As for Hurley, 51, Carlesimo believes he has what it takes to coach in the NBA.

“He’s a great coach, he really is,” Carlesimo told Beck. “The fact that he can be demanding and push the guys, but do it in a good way, where he uses humor. He’ll jump all over them, too. But they’re extremely well prepared. They’re so good coming out of timeouts. They’re so good coming out of the locker room at halftime. They’re so good in situations like underneath out of bounds and side out of bounds. He’d call a timeout in the NCAA tournament, and you knew they were going to score (on) the next possession.”

But the key word there may be “NCAA.” Despite what Carlesimo says he thinks, Hurley would have some major adjustments to make with the Lakers. That’s OK. But whether it would work gloriously, well, there’s only one way to find out.

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