NBA Rumors: Analyzing Top Candidates for Next Team USA Basketball Head Coach

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IAugust 12, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06:  Head coach of the United States Mike Krzyzewski gestures during the Men's Basketball Preliminary Round match against Argentina on Day 10 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Basketball Arena on August 6, 2012  in London, England.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

After having so much success at the Olympics and World Championships with the United States men's basketball team, head coach Mike Krzyzewski has nothing left to prove at the international level.

There are reportedly two top candidates to replace him if he doesn't want to take the team forward, according to ESPN's Marc Stein:

Colangelo has said repeatedly this week that he'll make one more run at it, after giving Krzyzewski some time to decompress when this is all over, but sources close to the situation told that Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich have indeed already moved to the top of the list to take over in 2013 for Krzyzewski, who is expected to remain with the program as a top aide to Colangelo if he can't be convinced to extend his coaching tenure.

Rivers and Popovich would be fantastic coaches for Team USA, but who else would be worthy of consideration for the position if Coach K steps down?

Let's rank the three best coaches who can replace Krzyzewski, and maintain the United States' success in international competitions.


3. Gregg Popovich

Popovich is a future Hall of Fame coach and one of the best we have seen in the last 25 years. His ability to manage egos and keep his team mentally focused for each game is quite remarkable.

He has a ton of experience coaching international players and certainly knows what it takes to win in an international setting.

Popovich is a master tactician and a great motivator. Choosing him to be the next head coach of Team USA would be a good decision.


2. Doug Collins

Collins is one of the finest coaches in the NBA, and since he is so good at teaching and developing young players, he would be a perfect coach for the 2016 Olympic team.

The next Olympic team will likely be a squad of mostly young players since it's unlikely that some veterans from the current team, such as Kobe Bryant, will be competing in Rio de Janeiro.

Collins' unique ability to coach young players, his impressive head coaching experience, plus his international experience as a player makes him a great choice to replace Krzyzewski. He is one of the most respected and well-liked people in basketball.


1. Doc Rivers

Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers is the top coach in the NBA and is a guy whom players absolutely love to play for.

As a former player, one who also played in the 1980 Summer Olympics, Rivers has experience in an international setting.

Rivers' ability to make in-game adjustments is spectacular, and his motivational skills are also top notch. With the Celtics, Rivers gets the most out of his players, especially the veterans, many of whom have won nearly everything in their careers.

As one of the finest and fairest coaches in basketball, Rivers is the best candidate for the Team USA job if Krzyzewski leaves.