Bobby Hurley understandably only had good things to say about Lu Dort when the former Arizona State guard came up. Hurley, speaking on the latest Pardon My Take podcast, was talking about watching players he coached find success in the NBA, so obviously the topic of Dort came up.

In the recently agreed-to collective bargaining agreement for the NBA, two-way contracts are being upped from two per roster to three as a result of what has turned into a very successful team-building mechanism. And there’s no better success story for a two-way player turning into a franchise cornerstone than Dort in Oklahoma City.

Dort began on a two-way contract with the Thunder after going undrafted. After three seasons with the team, he signed a five-year, $87.5 million contract extension. This season, he’s started 71 of his 72 appearances for OKC and was recently called the best defender in the NBA by Portland star Damian Lillard.

“Freaking Lu Dort. He signed a $90 million contract. I mean, I remember sitting in his living room in Montreal, Canada, with his family. He did it the hard way,” Hurley said on the PMT podcast. “That dude was fierce, and he was one of my favorite guys to coach.”

Dort started 33 games for ASU during the 2018-19 season. He averaged 16.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.5 steals a game that season, helping the Sun Devils to a 23-11 record and a second-place finish in the league.

“Lu was special,” Hurley continued. “He was so humble. He’d be coming in… a lot of 5-star guys, they’re like they know everything. You know? ‘Don’t tell me anything, I know it all, coach.’ But he was always one of the most coachable, humble, nice kids. Big strong guy, but really nice guy.

“The only time I saw him get really, really mad was we’d won a game I think at either Cal or Stanford and we’re getting on the bus and we got California Pizza Kitchen for the guys, just a snack until we get to the hotel. Lu was late because he had to do media stuff and Lu ordered a butter cake from California Pizza Kitchen and someone took his butter cake. And he was pissed, man. I’ve never seen him get that angry. We had to calm him down, man. He was serious about getting that butter cake.”