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    Tuesday, June 18, 2024

    Are the people running the Red Sox running the Lakers, too?

    Cue Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. Sound the church bells and blare the trumpets, good people of Connecticut. Your patron saint, St. Daniel of Hurley, is staying.

    And frankly, had most of you known the offer from the Lakers — or in this case, we harken the great M.L. Carr calling them the Fakers — you’d all have only sipped the Mylanta in recent days rather than chugged it.

    The Fakers’ offer, per ESPN.com, of $70 million for six years was comical. It would have made Hurley one of the NBA's six highest-paid coaches. Swell. Maybe they threw in a country club membership, too.

    Think about it: You are the Los Angeles Lakers. Among the biggest brands not merely in the NBA, but in all of sports. You are aware the courtship of Hurley would be made very public — as Hurley has close relationships with several national media types. You understand the concept of image in a city obsessed with it.

    You are Basketball Hollywood. And when you are Basketball Hollywood, you must make a Hollywood level offer. This requires Louis Vuitton. Dolce and Gabbana. And then the Fakers went Filene’s Basement.

    Makes you wonder: Are the same people who run the Red Sox running the Lakers? Two high profile, high revenue, major media market franchises who appear to have a sudden bargain basement fetish.

    I know many of you probably think I’m knitting with one needle here at the mere suggestion that $11.7 million per year is lunch money. But in this context, it is.

    If it goes public that Hollywood wants its man, then Hollywood better make sure its man is if not the highest paid coach in the league, then a whole lot better than top six. This just in: The Lakers wouldn’t have needed a telethon to raise the money. Now they must go shopping again trying to convince the next guy how badly they really want him.

    I’d like to know why many of these big, bad national media types didn’t know the Fakers’ offer would be closer to a Toyota Avalon than a Porsche. Seriously. If we knew that the expected raise Hurley would get from UConn — more than the current $5 million — would at least get the coach within a driver and nine-iron from the Lakers’ offer, we’d have all predicted Hurley would stay days ago.

    Me? I had a hard time seeing him in Tinseltown. You know: Driving the convertible down Santa Monica Blvd., stopping at a Starbucks to give his caramel mocha latte Frappuccino Macchiato order to some surfer dude with the IQ of celery.

    Nah. Hurley is where he belongs. Here among us. Not that we go around treating each other like we’re all siblings in the Von Trapp Family, but most of the state agrees that UConn men’s basketball cuts through the miserable as Connecticut’s great uniter, especially now that Hurley has rebuilt the Roman Empire.

    My guess is that the national college basketball media cartel is partying over this news as well. If you pay attention, you know that they don’t cover the sport now as much as promote it. They see college basketball losing its relevance — particularly within the football-dominated context of revenue, expansion, realignment and NIL considerations — and need to keep all the Dan Hurleys they can in their game.

    By now, we’re used to hype disappointing us. And here came Monday with all of Connecticut — and Los Angeles, I’d guess, too — breathing into brown paper bags. Then we get this. The Fakers offered Hurley what amounted to maybe three million a year more than he’d get by staying where he is deified and avoid uprooting his life.

    Only Hurley himself knows the relevant factors that went into his decision. But six years and $100 million (or more) would have sent a clearer and more declarative message. Dan Hurley isn’t leaving Camelot to become “one of the top six highest paid coaches.” If the Fakers really wanted him, they should have acted as such.

    This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro

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