Confirmed: Coach K to return to USA Basketball
After spending all of nine months away from his post as the men’s USA Basketball coach, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski will return to the team through the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Rio Games.
Coach K had stepped away from the team after last summer’s London Games, but over the weekend he told SI’s Pete Thamel that there was a “chance” of returning for another Olympic cycle.
Krzyzewski took over the team in 2005 following a disappointing bronze medal performance by LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Co. at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Coach K has since led USA Basketball to a 62-1 record, gold medals at the Beijing and London Games, and a World Championship in 2010.
USA Basketball CEO Jerry Colangelo considered Boston’s Doc Rivers, San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich, and former 76ers coach Doug Collins for the position, but never officially reached out to any of them.
“I would never do that,” the Hall of Fame executive explained. “I’ve said that from the beginning, for what he’s invested in USA Basketball, he’s entitled to make his decision before anyone.”
He’s expected to bring back a staff that includes Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni, and former Blazers coach Nate McMillan. The team has no official obligations on the court until 2014, but Krzyzewski will hold an mini-camp in Las Vegas this July to get the ball rolling toward Rio.
An official announcement should come in the next 48 hours.