Last month, weeks after the Huskies won their fourth national title, and the first under Kevin Ollie, the second-year coach sat down with CBS This Morning to talk about UConn's championship journey. It was then that Ollie first spoke publicly about rumors that the NBA might be in his future.
"No, NBA hasn't called," Ollie told Gayle King.
And would he answer if they did?
"No, not now in my life. Like I say, I can't never..."
King then interrupted: "Don't let me pick up the paper next week Kevin and it says, 'Guess what? (LAUGH) So and so has called and Kevin has accepted the call.' There's no secret meetings?"
Before we get to Ollie's response, several reports have surfaced that the Lakers may approach him about their now-vacant coaching job following Mike D'Antoni's resignation. The Lakers wouldn't confirm that Ollie was on their short list, and UConn would not comment on the report.
Back to Ollie's sitdown with CBS This Morning last month. Here is his response to King about "secret meetings" with interested NBA teams:
"No (meetings)," Ollie said. "I'm just worried -- worried about my kids here at the University of Connecticut. And I got three guys-- four guys is gonna graduate on time. And I want to be there for the graduation. That's actually, that's gonna be even better than the national championship. I'm never gonna say never, but I'm having so much fun. It's my dream job."
The week before, UConn's senior all-everything point guard Shabazz Napier was asked if Ollie would leave for the NBA and he was unequivocal in his response: “He’s not going anywhere,” Napier said. “He loves this university. When you love this university with the passion he has, he’s gonna stay here until they tell him he’s got to leave.”
And Ollie reiterated those sentiments to King: “I love this place. Like anything else, I evaluate it each and every year. I want the conditions right around my student-athletes. You just never know where the NCAA is going in years to come. I want to make sure the university is doing everything possible for our student-athletes to succeed. If I don’t see that, maybe it’s an opportunity for me to leave. But I’m going to evaluate that each and every year, and it’s perfect right now."