Duke head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has made quite a mark on the USA Basketball team since he assumed the head coaching position in 2005. Despite remarks to the contrary, it now seems Krzyzewski could remain at the helm through 2016.
According to Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated, Coach K has “reversed course” in admitting he is considering a return:
Thamel reports that Krzyzewski, 66, and chairman Jerry Colangelo have been discussing the ongoing nature of the former’s relationship with USA Basketball.
Colangelo commented, "I think it's very close to being resolved. That's all I can say for sure. Give it another week and it should be resolved.”
USA Basketball hasn’t always been a top priority for the NBA’s brightest stars. After a lull in success prior to Krzyzewski’s arrival, the team has been a dominant force in international play, compiling a 62-1 record in that span. His tenure also includes Olympic gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Games.
While nothing is finalized, the fact that Colangelo didn’t find an immediate replacement is telling. According to Thamel, the chairman held off naming a new coach at the beginning of the year in hopes of convincing Krzyzewski to retain his position to lead the team in the coming years.
Coach K was the architect of USA Basketball’s most recent Olympic gold medal in 2012 at the London Games—a run that included a perfect 8-0 record and a 107-100 victory over Spain in the gold medal game.
USA Basketball also won gold at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, but that may not have been possible without Krzyzewski at the helm. The year before Coach K took over (2004), the team produced a disappointing third-place finish at the Athens Olympics.
Should he agree to remain with the team, Thamel suggests Krzyzewski’s final run could encompass both the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.