The NBA might be knocking on Kevin Ollie’s door, but that doesn’t mean the UConn head coach is going anywhere.
“It’s going to be hard to pry him out of there,” said a source close to the situation. “He likes it there (at UConn).”
One NBA franchise has already contacted Ollie, but the source said it was not the Detroit Pistons or Los Angeles Lakers, who both reportedly have interest in the 41-year-old former NBA player. Since leading the Huskies to a national championship last month, Ollie’s name has become a popular one among speculators for NBA openings, including the New York Knicks. The Minnesota Timberwolves and Utah Jazz also have head coaching vacancies.
However, while the source said Ollie might keep his ears open when it comes to NBA overtures, he and his family are happy being Huskies. Ollie’s wife, Stephanie, who is from Bridgeport and also an UConn graduate, is a high regarded cardiac arrest unit nurse at Hartford’s St. Francis Hospital while his daughter, Cheyenne, is still in school. Ollie’s son, Jalen, is set to graduate Glastonbury High School next month before attending prep school.
“Kevin’s not trying to leave UConn,” the source said.
Last week ESPN reported that Ollie was working on a new deal with the school to double his $1.25 salary, but the source added that report was not accurate. The sides have spoken about modifying his current five-year deal at UConn, the source said. In Ollie’s original five-year agreement with the school, there was a 30 day deadline for re-negotiations to be completed, but that was extended in a contract signed on Oct. 1, 2013.
The contract states that either party — Ollie or the school — can re-open the agreement within 30 business days of the last game of the season. From there, the parties will make “reasonable efforts” to complete an extension within 60 days.
So there is plenty of time for a new deal to be finalized. Ollie will be in Washington D.C. for a Leadership Panel at the Pentagon Tuesday and Wednesday. A source close to Ollie does not anticipate a new contract being completed this week.