Dan Hurley made the right choice to turn down Lakers, stay at UConn.

What makes Dan Hurley’s decision to turn down the Los Angeles Lakers unusual in today’s sports world is that it had nothing to do with money.

The Lakers are being blasted on the West Coast for supposedly lowballing Hurley with an offer of $70 million over six years. He’s being paid a little more than $32 million by the University of Connecticut for the next six years, which is a lot of money but far less than the Lakers were offering.

Here’s my point: If the NBA team had offered $100 million instead, I think Hurley would still be at Connecticut.

Why? History, family and — perhaps most of all — happiness.

There’s an old saying in coaching: “Never run away from happiness.” The list of coaches who have run away for more money, more fame or more glamour and ended up unemployed is a long one. The Lakers have won one title since 2010, and that was in the pandemic bubble. Their recent tradition is to a fire a coach about every two years. After the past two seasons, Hurley can stay at Connecticut forever and a day.

Think of the coaches who opted for the NBA after great success at the college level — guys like Rick Pitino and John Calipari, not to mention John Beilein, Fred Hoiberg, Lon Kruger and P.J. Carlesimo, Hurley’s first college coach at Seton Hall. After their failures in the NBA, all raced back to college ball — except Beilein and Carlesimo, who both went into broadcasting.

Billy Donovan and Brad Stevens had some success in the NBA but have never won titles, although Stevens may be about to win one as president of the Celtics.

There is nothing inherently wrong with going from college to the pros, especially with the chaos going on at the college level. But U-Conn. isn’t in chaos; it’s in heaven. The Huskies have won two straight NCAA titles, only the third school since John Wooden’s retirement to do so. The first of those schools was Duke in 1991 and 1992, led by a point guard named Bobby Hurley.

Dan Hurley’s trip to the top of the NCAA hoops mountain is very much tied to the success of his older brother and the coaching success of his father. Bob Sr., who coached at St. Anthony’s in Jersey City for 45 seasons, is one of just a handful of high school coaches in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Both brothers talk about hearing their father talk about opponents as if they were the Bill Russell Celtics.

“Every team they played was great,” Dan told me years ago. “He was convinced his guys would have to play a perfect game to even have a chance to win. Then they’d win by 20 — or 30.”

Danny was a good high school player, but the star of the family was Bobby, who not only was part of the two national championship teams but is still the all-time Division I assists leader.

Danny, two years younger, went to Seton Hall and was a part-time player for two seasons on good teams. But the pressure of being Bobby’s little brother overwhelmed him, and he left the team two games into his junior year with issues involving alcohol and depression. He returned as a redshirt junior and averaged about 14 points as a junior and senior, finishing his career with more than 1,000 points. Very solid, unless compared to Bobby.

After being taken seventh in the 1993 NBA draft, Bobby’s career was blown up in a December 1993 car crash, when his car was broadsided on his way home from a game. Although he recovered enough to play part-time for four more seasons, he was never the same: The accident stole his quickness and speed.

It was then that the brothers reversed roles. Bobby got away from basketball almost completely, getting involved with training horses. “I had needed some time to mourn for my playing career,” Bobby once told me. “I was haunted a little by what had happened. But I missed the game. When Dan had the chance, I said, ‘Go for it,’ thinking maybe I’d go with him.”

After a brief stint as an assistant coach at Rutgers, Dan followed his father into high school coaching in New Jersey, taking over the program at St. Benedict’s Prep. He went 223-21 in nine seasons before being hired by Wagner. It was there that he convinced Bobby to get into coaching as his top assistant. When Dan, after going 25-6, was hired two seasons later at Rhode Island, Bobby went with him. Six years later, Dan got the U-Conn. job. The rest is history. (Bobby is now at Arizona State, where his teams have been up and down.)

Dan and his family love living in Connecticut. His parents drive the two hours to almost every home game. His son Andrew was a walk-on for both national title teams. And Dan Hurley is well aware that he has a chance to be the first coach since Wooden to win three straight national titles. Even his brother’s 1993 Duke team couldn’t match that feat.

The Hurley family remains very close. The brothers talk almost every day. “The difference is I’m usually hiding under a bed when we talk on game day,” Dan likes to say. His temperament is probably not ideal for 100-plus games per year, which a pro job could require, but who knows? He’s only 51 and will certainly have more lucrative opportunities in the not-too-distant future.

If the college game becomes any more insane than it already is, he might decide to find out how he can do in the NBA — where there are no name, image and likeness deals, no transfer portal and no impending court decisions on who gets paid and how much.

For now, though, Hurley has every reason to be happy at Connecticut. Most importantly, he’s smart enough to know that.

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