Tag: Mike Krzyzewski

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Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski heaps praise on Kobe Bryant


Coach Mike Krzyzewski has a special bond with Kobe Bryant.

These are two men who bring something special to the basketball court, and part of that is a fighting spirit. They were friends before, but that bond grew during the Olympics when for a few years (particularly in Beijing in 2008) it was Kobe’s team, and guys such as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade learned about the dedication needed to win from him.

The Duke head coach was on Time Warner Sportsnet in Los Angeles Friday (that’s the Lakers’ high paying cable channel) and heaped praise upon Kobe. Ryan Ward of the Lakers Nation saw it and passed along the highlights.

Krzyzewski also believes this will not be Kobe’s last season, that if Kobe is healthy he will continue playing. That is certainly possible, although there are few superstars who have ever been better prepared for life after basketball than Kobe. When he leaves, he will leave, there will be no Jordan with the Wizards moment.

What Coach K talks about is something I have mentioned before and will say a lot this season — about Kobe, about Tim Duncan, about Kevin Garnett — we need to savor watching these guys. A great generation of players, some of the best of all time and groundbreakers, are about to hang up their high tops. (Yes, I know Kobe wears low tops now.) Watching what Kobe, Duncan and KG do is special, and if you’re a fan of the game soak it up now while you still can, because soon it will be gone.

Expect Rio Olympics to be Mike Krzyzewski’s last run as Team USA’s coach


There was a lot of speculation that after the 2012 London Olympics, that would be it for Mike Krzyzewski as Team USA head coach. Coach K would go back to “just” coaching Duke and let someone else take over the international big chair, he’d done his share, put up with enough egos.

Except he decided to stay on for four more years. Krzyzewski will coach Team USA in Rio next August for the 2016 Olympics.

But that’s it, suggests USA Basketball president Jerry Colangelo, speaking to Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports.

Colangelo: This time I know it’s done. I’m already working on the future. But my focus is on ’16. I have so much time on my hands that I’m already working on it.

Q: Do you already have a next coach in mind?

Colangelo: I always have a guy already in my head. Always did and always will.

It takes a special guy to coach Team USA, someone rises above the agent/shoe politics that can dominate the organization and selection process. Coach K has been able do that, as his 75-1 record overall (52-1 in official FIBA events) record indicates. The elite of the game want to play for him, he knows how to recruit.

Who could step into his shoes and rise above like that?

The two leading candidates are considered to be Gregg Popovich and Doc Rivers.

Popovich, a former Air Force man, makes the most sense. He is fully capable of rising above the politics, but he also has a poor history with Colangelo. Can the two men get past that to forge a deal? If not, keep an eye on Rivers (who gets along with most players).

After Coach K, they have some massive shoes to fill.

Report: Mike D’Antoni will not return as Team USA assistant coach


We mentioned this in our story telling you Mike Krzyzewski will be back as head coach of Team USA for the 2016 Olympics — there might be some changes to his staff.

One bit of news is in — Mike D’Antoni is out as an assistant coach, reports Marc Berman at the New York Post.

According to the source, D’Antoni, who now coaches the Lakers, turned down the job as he didn’t want to make another four-year commitment because of his family….

“He wants to stay married,” the source said.

D’Antoni has enough on his hands as coach of the Lakers.

D’Antoni was a coach with Team USA since 2006, and was with Krzyzewski through the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and the 2012 ones in London — both gold medals for Team USA.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim (and his zone defense) will be back. No word yet on whether or not Nate McMillan will stay on the staff, nor who will replace him.

Krzyzewski will be announced as the coach at a press conference scheduled by Team USA on the Duke campus Thursday.

Now, enjoy the comments on this post where Lakers fans take it in a completely different direction.

Krzyzewski reiterates he is done as Team USA coach

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Okay Jerry Colangelo, time to bury the hatchet and go have a serious conversation with Gregg Popovich. If that requires a little groveling on your part, then grovel.

But Mike Krzyzewski reiterated again Tuesday on Dan Patrick’s radio show that he is done as Team USA coach (forward to the 9:15 mark of the video below. He’s not coming back for another Olympics cycle. Time to move on.

This is what he has said all along, since before the London Olympics. This was it. USA Basketball head Jerry Colangelo tried one more time to change Coach K’s mind.

Doc Rivers would be a solid choice. But this should be Gregg Popovich’s job — a former Air Force guy and the best coach in the game today. You need to have a coach who rises above the politics of agents and shoe companies and petty rivalries, and there are only a couple guys on that list. Pop is at the top of it. He’s the man. Give him the gig.


Krzyzewski helped push Shane Battier toward Miami

Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat - Game Five

Shane Battier is an NBA champion, and there may be no other member of the Miami Heat team that seemed to savor the experience of the finals and winning than the veteran forward.

But it was Battier’s Duke connections that helped guide him to Miami.

When Battier was a free agent following the lockout, he got a call from Heat CEO Nick Arison — a former Blue Devil who was the team manager while Battier was in college and won a national title. They were friends and had a connection.

Then there was Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski who helped push Battier to South Beach, he told the Duke Chronicle (via SLAM).

Battier said he received a call of congratulations from Duke basketball head coach Krzyzewski, who has seen just him and Danny Ferry leave Durham to become NBA champions during his tenure.

“[Krzyzewski] was the one who wanted me to go to Miami more than anyone else,” Battier said. “In the end, like always, he was right.”

For some of you out there, Duke combined with Miami may be two-thirds of the Axis of Evil along with the Illuminati. But in case your curious, when asked during the NBA finals whether he got more Heat or Duke hate Battier said it wasn’t close — Duke in a landslide.