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Krzyzewski: USA Basketball 'the ultimate honor'

Posted May 23, 2013

When USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo heard that Mike Krzyzewski would not return to Team USA following the gold medal in the 2012 Olympics, he swore he would take the Duke head coach out for “pizza and wine” to convince him to come back. Turns out, all he needed was room service chicken fingers with the legendary coach and a one-on-one meal with Krzyzewski’s wife Mickie.

“You had me pretty cheap,” Krzyzewski joked with Colangelo during a re-introductory press conference Thursday morning at Duke University.

But when things became serious, the Army graduate Krzyzewski called the gig "the ultimate honor” and said that being a part of the national team is about “service”.

Mike Krzyzewski, Team USA Gravley: Coach K coming back to coach Team USA

“USA Basketball is the body that brings everyone together and we have to make sure it's done the right way,” Krzyzewski said. “For the next four years, I'll think about USA Basketball every day, but not in place of Duke."

Krzyzewski has led the national team to three consecutive world event gold medals – the 2010 FIBA World Championships and the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. He has been a part of USA Basketball since the late 1970s, earning eight gold medals, two silvers and a pair of bronzes in more than a dozen international events.

"We'll try to build it with the best players available. They are the ones who make an amazing commitment,” Krzyzewski said, adding that he is hoping LeBron James will again make the commitment to play in the Rio Games in 2016. “We have the best talent. We have to make sure we do all the things necessary to become the best team."

Colangelo insisted that he was confident of Krzyzewski’s return to Team USA saying, “I never accepted that he wasn't coming back." He added, “I think it's a perfect fit for him. His legacy is tied to USA Basketball, as it is with Duke University."

Krzyzweski countered that when he said he wasn’t going to return following the London Games, he was serious. What changed his mind was the support from his family.

"The first two times Jerry asked me, I said I would do it and faked it with my family to make them think they were a part of the decision," Krzyzewski confessed. "This time we involved everybody that should have been involved. That's why I feel very good about the decision."

Many of Krzyzewski’s colleagues took to social media in support of his decision.

Kentucky head coach John Calipari said on Twitter, “Congrats and thank you to Mike Krzyzewski for continuing to lead USA basketball. It's a lot of work & sacrifice. Great leadership continues!

Longtime assistand Chris Collins added, “So Excited to see Coach K back for another run with @usabasketball!! No one has a greater passion for the job!! We are lucky to have him!!”

Krzyzewski noted during Thursday’s press conference, "I don't think anybody should coach the team (USA) unless they are coaching. You have to stay sharp." He then slipped, “I didn't know I got a contract extension today from Dr. (Richard) Brodhead."

As far as filling the Team USA roster, Krzyzewski said that his main effort is to “replenish the pool of players” and that camp will start this summer. As far as filling the staff, Krzyzewski said that Syracuse assistant Jim Boeheim, who has assisted him since 2006, will again get a call. So too will Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins.

37 Comments

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  • canz May 24, 9:13 a.m.

    Excuses? K has 2 Golds. He's a winner. End of story. Whoever coached before him didnt win Gold...with NBA players, the best on the planet. Other countries are better than ever...b/c they also have NBA players. K came in and took care of business. Go check out the statements yesterday and from years past from Lebron, Kobe, Durant, Wade, Bosh all kissing K's rear saying how great he is and how he makes them better and motivates them. There is a reason all the players put their medals around K's neck...they love him. You are incredibly tedious. Bet you are one of those that roots against the US team b/c of K. You are a little, little man. Knowing you are out there will make it all the more sweeter when K gets another Gold. 4 Nattys, 11 Final Fours, Winningest NCAA Coach, Winningest NCAA Tourney Coach, wins the Acc tourney almost every year, 2 Olympic Golds, World Championship Gold. Wow. Thank you K, you are indeed incredible.

  • ugottabkiddinme May 24, 8:41 a.m.

    Coach K will have more Gold Medals than Dean Smith had National Championships. Amazing.

    PG:... View More

    — Posted by BlueDevils00

    difference between the GREAT Dean Smith and the want 2 be K...Dean did it with COLLEGE KIDS not... View More

    — Posted by ugottabkiddinme

    Dean did it with COLLEGE KIDS not overpaid professionals

    When Dean coached the National Team,... View More

    — Posted by 903 mens national championships

    LMAO..you can make ALL the excuses you want. Anybody can take LeBron and company and win gold with their eyes closed...K only decided to coach this team because of his ego and he is smart enough to know just how easy it is to win another title with them. Come on man, admit it so you will have some validity to your posts. I would even admit that if Dean were coaching these NBA players now. K is just a tool..lol

  • canz May 24, 8:29 a.m.

    ^Hey Dolt. The US team is indeed made up of pros....but so are the other countries. These countries are light years away from the 80's. Did the US win Gold just before K got there?...but I thought it was so easy? K, greatest coach in any sport, ever. It's harder to win than when Wooden won his. Anyone with common sense understands that. Nattys over 3 different decades is insane. Adjusts to his talent every year and doesn't go to the NIT with talent like Huck did.

  • 903 mens national championships May 24, 6:43 a.m.

    Coach K will have more Gold Medals than Dean Smith had National Championships. Amazing.

    PG:... View More

    — Posted by BlueDevils00

    difference between the GREAT Dean Smith and the want 2 be K...Dean did it with COLLEGE KIDS not... View More

    — Posted by ugottabkiddinme

    Dean did it with COLLEGE KIDS not overpaid professionals

    When Dean coached the National Team, how many international players were good enough to play in the NBA? Competing against a weak global field in 1976 is not harder than competing with NBA players against a global field that also has NBA players.

  • dooksucksv5 May 24, 5:13 a.m.

    ^^Dude is a sad, little, little man. You can post 10000x if you want. There is nothing you can... View More

    — Posted by canz

    Poor little fella is hurt because the truth about K is too hard for it to digest.

    Sad.

  • ugottabkiddinme May 23, 10:40 p.m.

    Coach K will have more Gold Medals than Dean Smith had National Championships. Amazing.

    PG:... View More

    — Posted by BlueDevils00

    difference between the GREAT Dean Smith and the want 2 be K...Dean did it with COLLEGE KIDS not overpaid professionals..I could coach that squad to a Gold medal as long as i spelled their names right when turning in the offical roster..Seriously! and Dean gave ya boy K a beat down head to head winning almost 5 to 1 ... k was happy to see dean go and he did it the right way

  • canz May 23, 8:33 p.m.

    ^^Dude is a sad, little, little man. You can post 10000x if you want. There is nothing you can do to stop K's greatness. Deal with it and your life will be a lot better. I promise. Trying to talk junk about the greatest coach of the modern era makes you look foolish. Tuck your K voddoo doll away, go down to your basement bedroom and go nite-nite. You see, K is an achiever, a winner in life. You are posting on a Wral website hating on him. Who is the loser? You see, as you go to sleep, wake up and live every second of your life, K will be in your head. K will not think about you for 1 second of his life.

  • dooksucksv5 May 23, 4:57 p.m.

    Congrats & thanks for giving up your time K for almost a decade. K is a true patriot who... View More

    — Posted by canz

    and blame poor basketball seasons on natural disasters

    — Posted by kmorsreturn

    K blames elderly UVA fans who he tends to cuss at.

    Sad.

  • dooksucksv5 May 23, 4:55 p.m.

    hahaha, dude i work. i told you i will be glad to get you a job. you can pretend not to read... View More

    — Posted by kmorsreturn

    Selling Avon is not a real job.

    — Posted by 903 crybaby

    well if i did it is atleast better than you job of bashing the armed forces....oh boy.

    — Posted by kmorsreturn

    link where I bashed the armed forces.
    Just telling you the truth about Ksnake. If you can't... View More

    — Posted by 903 crybaby

    Don't worry, she accused me of the same.

    She has a history of telling lies.

  • dooksucksv5 May 23, 4:53 p.m.

    Coach K will have more Gold Medals than Dean Smith had National Championships. Amazing.

    PG:... View More

    — Posted by BlueDevils00

    Yet Dean won a gold with amateur players.

    — Posted by dooksucksv5

    too bad he used paid players in the NCAA.....oh boy.

    — Posted by kmorsreturn

    Yep, K sure did.

    Thanks for admitting that Hal.

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