Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski may have just made USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo a very happy man.
After leading Team USA to a gold medal in the 2012 London Games, Coach K stated that he was stepping down as the face of the Olympic team.
However, in a phone interview with Sports Illustrated, Krzyzewski stated that his plans may be changing after all. When asked if there was a chance that he could be coaching the squad in 2016 in Rio, Coach K responded in the affirmative.
“There’s a chance,” Krzyzewski said. “That’s correct.”
In just a very few words, the man made some very big news. Despite having the best players in the world, playing Olympic basketball had become an afterthought in the United States before Coach K came in and changed the culture of the event.
Now, the best the NBA has to offer compete for a spot on the roster — and those who have made it aboard have come out golden.
Team USA won gold in both the 2008 Beijing and aforementioned 2012 London Games. Overall, Coach K is 62-1 as the team’s coach, his lone defeat coming at the hands of Greece at the 2006 World Championships in Japan.
As for Colangelo, the man is not tipping his hand.
“I think it’s very close to being resolved,” Colangelo told SI. “That’s all I can say for sure.”
He added: “Give it another week and it should be resolved.”
However, he did say that there would be no rushing Coach K to make his decision. Colangelo will not begin looking for a successor until the Duke legend gives him the green light to do so.
“I would never do that,” Colangelo said about talking to other candidates. “I’ve said that from the beginning, for what he’s invested in USA Basketball, he’s entitled to make his decision before anyone.”
If Krzyzewski turns down the opportunity, Colangelo said he’s “more than prepared to move forward.”
The return of Coach K to the Olympic sidelines would only further boost his resume. If he returns, the next question is simple: Who is going to make his team?
Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports