The U.S. head coach Krzyzewski watches his team against Spain during their men's gold medal  basketball match at the North Greenwich Arena in London during the London 2012 Olympic Games

It’s official: Krzyzewski back to coach Team USA through Rio Olympics

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We’ve all done this: After a really difficult project, no matter how rewarding it was, right afterward we say “no way, I’m never doing that again.” Then six months later we look back on it and think “you know, it wasn’t that bad” and talk ourselves into doing it again.

That’s Mike Krzyzewski and coaching Team USA.

After saying no for months it became official Thursday morning — he will coach Team USA for four more years, through the 2016 Olympics in Rio. It was announced at a press conference on the Duke campus.

“It is tough to give up something you’ve absolutely loved doing for seven years, the people you’re doing it with, and most importantly, the country you’re doing it for,” Krzyzewski said in a released statement. “As a result of my ongoing desire to coach, I’ve decided I’d like to continue as head coach of the Men’s National Team especially since USA Basketball wanted me to do so. It just seems like the right thing to do.

“There is no greater honor than to coach your country’s team and to be afforded the unique opportunity to be the National Team coach three times is incredible.”

In those past seven years, he was 62-1 as Team USA coach and helped lead the team to two gold medals. More importantly, the game’s elite players respect and want to play for Krzyzewski (and like at all levels, talent wins out on the court). LeBron James said he has a lot of respect for Coach K and may well be back for 2016.

“The news on Coach K with USA Basketball is great,” said Kobe Bryant, who was part of the last two Team USA rosters but seems far less likely for 2016 as he will be 37. “He is an incredible coach who worked tirelessly to prepare us for different opponents. Even as a veteran, I learned a lot from his leadership. I appreciate all he’s done over the years for USA Basketball and our country in this position. I think Team USA is in great hands for the next four years.”

USA Basketball president Jerry Colangelo did a very good job of being patient and waiting Coach K out. He said he wanted to wait out the college basketball season before making a decision (he said he wanted a coach in place before a Team USA mini-camp this summer in Las Vegas for young players that USA Basketball wants to see up close). There were other qualified coaching candidates out there — Gregg Popovich, Doc Rivers — but Colangelo knew he had time and just waited Krzyzewski out.

Expect some changes to Coach K’s coaching staff. Reports are that Mike D’Antoni has turned down a request to return (he has a lot on his plate with the Lakers), other changes may be coming as well.

Byron Scott says they just have to get Kobe Bryant better looks

Kobe Bryant, Joe Johnson, Byron Scott
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Kobe Bryant is averaging 15.2 points a game at age 37. It’s just taking him 16.4 shots per game to get there. After his 1-of-14 shooting performance against the Warriors the other night — with too much isolation and too many plays run just for him — there has been a lot of talk about his shot. With reason, this is his shot chart so far this season.

Kobe shotchart season

So what do the Lakers’ do? Get Kobe to shoot less and get the ball in the hands of the young stars they supposed to be developing more? Nah.

They just need to get Kobe better looks, Scott told the Los Angeles Times.

“I know his mentality is that he can still play in this league,” Scott said. “And we feel the same way….

“Obviously he’s struggling right now with his shot, and I think everybody can see that,” Scott said. “So it’s trying to get him in better position to be able to have an opportunity to knock those shots down on a consistent basis. That’s No. 1.

“I don’t know if it’s his legs. I don’t think so. Again, our conversations are pretty blunt. … He tells me when he is tired and he tells me when he’s not tired. And the last few days, he said he feels great. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of him being tired or his legs being tired. I think it’s a matter of his timing being a little off.”

Yes, how could it be his legs? It’s not like he’s a 37-year-old with more than 55,000 NBA minutes played, and coming off an Achilles rupture and major knee surgery.

Honestly, I hope the Lakers and Kobe find a balance soon, because they have become just hard to watch. And I don’t want Kobe to go out this way.

Is Stephen Curry the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Lionel Messi
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Stephen Curry has reached the transcendent point in his career. We’re now talking about if he has passed LeBron James as the best player on the planet (he has), and we’re starting to think about his legacy as the perfect point guard for a modern NBA small-ball, space-and-pace offense. Plus he’s just a joy to watch play.

Does that make him the Lionel Messi of the NBA?

Curry was asked to compare himself to the Barcelona/Argentinian player who (arguably) is the greatest soccer player in the world, certainly as elite a finisher as that sport has ever seen. Here is his answer, via the Sydney Morning Herald of Australia. Is Curry the bigger international star now?

“I don’t know – it’s a chicken and egg kind of conversation,” Curry said while laughing.

“We both have a creative style, a feel when you are out on the pitch or the court. I’m trying to do some fancy things out there with both hands, making crossover moves and having a certain flair to my game and that’s definitely the style Messi has when he is out there in his matches.”

I love Curry, but Messi is the bigger international star.

But I love the comparison in terms of the must-watch nature of the two stars, the flair in their games, the sense that you have to keep an eye on them at all times because the spectacular could happen any time they touch the ball. When the ball comes to them, everybody leads forward in their chairs. That is the sign of a real superstar.

Jahlil Okafor fights man in Boston (video)

Jahlil Okafor

The 76ers lost a heartbreaker to the Celtics last night, dropping Philadelphia to 0-16.

Jahlil Okafor was apparently in a foul mood after the game.


We’re told everyone got up and fled the scene and no arrests were made.

We’re told the altercation began because one of the men in the other group yelled at Jahlil, “The 76ers suck.”

We spoke with a rep for Jahlil who tells us … Okafor says he was being heckled from the moment he left the club and felt threatened because people swarmed him on the street.


This video obviously doesn’t show everything, but it certainly makes Okafor look like the aggressor.

Okafor will probably face punishment from some combination of the legal system, NBA and 76ers.