After the Lakers fired Byron Scott on Sunday night, Kevin Ollie was one of the first names to come up.
Ollie was also linked to the Lakers job in 2014, though the prospect of the UConn coach making the leap to the NBA this summer seemed a little more realistic due to Kevin Durant’s free agency – Ollie was teammates with Durant in Oklahoma City.
However, it looks as if Ollie may be staying put at the University of Connecticut.
Christian Vital, a 6’2″ guard who verbally committed to UConn today, informed Evan Daniels of Scout.com that Ollie has told him he’s staying put:
“Basically [Kevin Ollie], he’s texted me before 9:00 every day this week,” Vital said. “Just letting me know about the Lakers situation and that he loves me and he’s staying at UConn. That really means something to me, to have that kind of relationship with the head coach, knowing he has a million things to do.”
Previously, Ollie had told reporters that he’d listen to any potential job offer from the Lakers, though stated that it would “take something very special” for him to leave his current position at UConn.
However, one report claimed that Ollie would only join the Lakers if he had input on the team’s personnel decisions, and the purple and gold have been reluctant to relinquish any of their decision-making power to a head coach thus far.
At the time of writing, Luke Walton and Ettore Messina appear to the be the Lakers’ top targets, and are expected to be interviewed by the team in the near future.