Originally written on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 5/16/12

Earlier this week, Duke University and Team USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced he was most likely stepping away from Team USA coaching duties after the 2012 Olympics in London. The Coach K/Jerry Colangelo rebirth of Team USA has been spectacular after the failures that were the 2002 World Championships and 2004 Olympics in Athens. Since taking over the team in 2006, Team USA has lost one game in international play (the 2006 World Championship Semi-Final against Greece). Now it appears that six plus years of extra games, travel and game planning is enough for Coach K, who calls coaching for USA Basketball "the best honor" of his career (H/T to ESPN's Marc Stein).

"There's no question [that] you put your career a little bit on the line when you're coaching the national team if you don't win the gold. ... [But] I'm excited about it. I've not looked at it as pressure throughout my whole time. When we won in 2008, I wasn't relieved. I was in la-la land. And that's a big difference."

Despite little experience coaching in the pros, Coach K has been spectacular for Team USA. Having a guy with his coaching skills (not to mention extra time off to game plan) was exactly what USA Basketball needed to regain its number one spot in international basketball. Now that he's stepping away, there will be a lot of talk about who will succeed Coach K. The first guy that pops in to a lot of guys heads is San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. Like Coach K, he's an military graduate who has a supreme love and respect for his country. He has international experience as Larry Brown's lead assistant in Athens, though most of us would like to pretend the 2004 Olympics didn't happen. His hold everyone accountable style has made him a favorite among players. He also may have some extra time on his hands in a couple of years if he really does retire when Tim Duncan decides to. Sounds like a no-brainer, especially if the Spurs win another title or two between now and the 2014 World Championships. Still, as Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski points out, there's already a big negative for Pop's candidacy.

"For those discussing next Team USA coach, it should be Gregg Popovich. That won't happen, though, because of a poor relationship with Jerry Colangelo."

Woj didn't specify the nature of this bad relationship. He's written previously that with some post-Athens drama and might have started with the fact that Pop's Spurs kept Colangelo's Phoenix Suns from winning an NBA title for the better part of the last decade. Either way, hopefully this doesn't kill Pop's chances altogether. He'd be a great fit. Wojnarowski also tweeted that Doc Rivers would be the next logical pick, given his resume and international coaching experience. Other candidates may include Mike D'Antoni because of his relationship with Colangelo and the fact that he's part of Coach K's current staff. Don't expect any sort of names to be seriously be floated out until after the London games are done.


Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Diamondbacks GM: Padres wanted Goldschmidt for Kimbrel

'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dead at 61

Mets acquire Yoenis Cespedes from Tigers

Sheldon Richardson escapes felony charges for recent arrest

Lawyer who litigated against NFL: Brady plays every game


Cowboys should sign interested RB Steven Jackson

Jameis Winston confirmed as Buccaneers starting QB

Russell Wilson contract increases likelihood of change

Jim Harbaugh doesn’t care if he’s popular

Johnny Manziel struggles in first day of Browns camp

Report: Wilson, Seahawks agree to four-year, $86.7M contract

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Jonathan Papelbon thinks he became ‘scapegoat’ for Phillies

Padres don’t sell at trade deadline, reportedly because AJ Preller still believes in team

First photos of Jason Pierre-Paul’s injured hand emerge

Stop kvetching about Notre Dame, please

Rebuttal banner supporting Tom Brady flies over Pats practice

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

LeSean McCoy cancels party, but it wasn't some 'weird orgy'

Redskins making huge mistake by signing Junior Galette

New Blue Jay David Price got a flat tire on his way to Toronto

Five of the worst baseball trades since 2000

Famed ballboy Red Lightning spotted at Falcons camp

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Puig: Broke out of slump by playing baseball video games

Braves dump risk, exchange it for risk

David Price traded to Blue Jays

The indefensible Hulk Hogan

Cole Hamels chose Rangers over Astros

Can Preller fix the mess in San Diego?

Next summer's top 10 NBA free agents

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker