Key decisions ahead for Krzyzewski
Jun 11, 2009
Here are two things we know for sure:
1. Mike Krzyzewski will never coach at another college. 2. Krzyzewski will never coach in the NBA.
The first statement is easy to substantiate. Coach K is Duke, period. There really isn't much more to say on this subject, three national titles, about a zillion ACC titles, the court is named after him ... you get the picture.
The second statement is just opinion, but let's face it Coach K has been offered the keys to the two greatest franchises in NBA history, the Celtics and the Lakers. After the back-to-back national championships in the early 1990s, Red Auerbach went after Krzyzewski hard. Everyone thought he would go, but he didn't. Then in 2004 the Lakers courted Krzyzewski, and he once again stayed at the place he loves. It's safe to say if you turn down those two franchises, there isn't a team out there that could be tempting.
That brings us to Team USA. Krzyzewski was in Raleigh Wednesday night promoting his new book that chronicles Team USA's run to the gold medal in last summer's Olympics. TWhen I asked him where the gold medal ranked all-time in his accomplishments, he immediately said it was his biggest. That was a little surprising considering the many great memories he has in college, at a place he has been for 30 years. It caused another hmmm.
The conversation turned to what is his exact position with the national team. He said his decision would be made public in July. His exact statement was "whatever I finally decide to do I'll be satisfied with it, otherwise I wouldn't make the decision." But will Duke be happy with the decision? It seems that Krzyzewski's identity is more associated with the national team these days rather than Duke.
Since Krzyzewski took over Team USA in 2006 the Blue Devils have a total of three NCAA wins. That makes him an easy target. Those are definitely not Duke results under Coach K. One possible explanation is that he is unwilling to play the recruiting game that would bring him the top level talent needed to be an elite team. The "one and doners" are players he doesn't seem interested in, he has always been more interested in building relationships with his guys.
Unfortunately the game has become a business, and for the most part the best players aren't dreaming of building relationships, or even winning a national title for that matter. Kids today want to know, can you get me to the NBA? And how fast? Why waste your time trying to lure kids to school who don't want to be there when you could coach the best players on the planet?
Maybe Krzyzewski has accomplished all he can the way he likes to do it. Meaning, he doesn't want to adjust to this new atmosphere in order to win. Maybe the relationships mean more to him than Final Fours. He's been there done that, but what he hasn't done is run a national program. He is definitely the right man for the job. He has dominated the ACC for stretches, and he has dominated the NCAA for stretches. The only thing left is world domination.
Krzyzewski has said since he took over Team USA that continuity was a key in the United States' return to the top of world basketball. What was implied there was player continuity, but could it be that the coaching position could also be permanent? There are no other challenges out there for Krzyzewski Running our country's national team seems like a position that he would relish - I mean who wouldn't? He would be in charge of basketball for the entire nation.
Some believe he would never leave Duke, that he couldn't possibly leave since he has turned down every possible opportunity, but this is special, this is bigger than a school, or a conference. Does he want to break the NCAA all-time wins record?
I don't think he wants to surpass his mentor Bob Knight, given the reverence he has for his former coach. Krzyzewski doesn't have to worry about his legacy, it is secure no matter what he decides about his coaching future. Will he continue to do double duty? I guess we'll have to wait until July to find out.
Most Recent Comments
RE: Key decisions ahead for KrzyzewskiYo derek, Duke only does have 3 tourney wins since 2006. 07: zero, 08: one 09: two. That equals 3 my man, just because you can post is no excuse for bad math. Yeah they also won back to back titles in the 90's. If you didn't know that you need to go back to your cave and disconnect the internet. Have a good one.
RE: Key decisions ahead for KrzyzewskiNo offense, bit who wrote this article? Better you who checked it?
"Since 2006 Duke has 3 NCAA wins? Duke won back to back in the 90's?
I don't think he wants to surpass his mentor Bob Knight, given the reverence he has for his former coach?"
Just because you are a "Blog" is no excuse for rather sloppy writing.