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Coach K almost came to Lakers in 2004; will not now

Mar 24, 2011, 2:14 PM EDT

Krzyzewski & Kobe Bryant Getty Images

Phil Jackson is going to walk away from the Lakers after this season, whether he makes it an even dozen rings or not.

Brian Shaw is your front-runner. He almost certainly will be the head coach for the Lakers next season.

But there will be rumors. Like Kurt Rambis (if he is let go in Minnesota). Like Byron Scott (who is rumored to have an out in his Cavaliers contract for the Lakers gig, even if it is hard to imagine the Cavs agreeing to that).

Like Mike Krzyzewski.

Not going to happen. Coach K told the Los Angeles Times:

“I’m good with where I’m at, I’m too old to do anything else.”

However, Krzyzewski told ESPNLosAngeles.com that he seriously considered it in 2004 (the last time Jackson walked away).

“I’ve never thought of ever leaving Duke for another school but there were three serious times where I almost left to go to the pros,” Krzyzewski said. “One was when Dave Gavitt took over the Celtics [in 1990], another was with the Trailblazers [in 1994] and the one that I took to a really far level was the Lakers situation. They were great with me. I just could not give up what I’ve done and gotten at Duke. It just wasn’t worth it.”

I’m not going to say Coach K would have been a perfect fit with the Lakers, but I will say it would have gone better than the Rudy Tomjanovich era. Short though it was. Kobe Bryant and Coach K are tight, he would have lobbied for and accepted him as coach. However, if one thing would have driven Krzyzewski back to college ball it would have been a team with Kwame Brown and Smush Parker as starters. So maybe it worked out best for everyone.

  1. goforthanddie - Mar 24, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    Why would he consider an LA with Kobe on the way down?

    • Chris Carter - Mar 24, 2011 at 6:30 PM

      Because The Lakers always find a way. After Chamberlain, they found Magic Johnson. After Johnson, they found Kobe and Shaq. It usually takes them 3 years to rebuild, but that isn’t a reason to not help a team.

  2. rapmusicmademedoit - Mar 24, 2011 at 7:17 PM

    Don’t fool yourself, he goes to LA because Kobe is his boy, he doesn’t even get a call until Mamba
    say’s Kup, you call him………. like when Kobe said call Phil and Phil said is Kobe cool with this, I
    did write that book boo boo about Mamba.

  3. tstreet - Mar 25, 2011 at 5:00 AM

    Coach “K” dont tarnish your legacy and please don’t tarnish the Lakers. Stay were you are. For every Larry Brown you have a Tarkanian, Pitino, Tim Floyd, John Calipari situation.

  4. helinhater - Mar 25, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    He’s going to the Lakers.

    What else would you expect arguably the greatest coach of all time to say in the middle of the NCAA Tournament?

    “Oh, yeah, I would definitely consider it…Especially when you factor in my best players are two seniors and a freshman who will likely go in the top 5 of the NBA draft…And the fact it would likely be my last realistic shot…which would coincide nicely with the tail end of Kobe’s career…Plus, if I were to go to the Lakers, we’re a lock to compete and a favorite to win the title…and if you were to add an NBA title (or two) to my already impressive resume, it’s possible I would pass by Wooden, Auerbach, and Jackson as the single greatest coach to ever live.”

    Obviously, had he said THAT, it would have seriously crippled Duke’s chances.

    With Duke’s season now over…Let’s wait and see what happens.

    Remember – Nick Saban also said he wasn’t going to become the head coach at Alabama.

    And 3 weeks ago Mike Anderson said he wouldn’t be leaving Missouri for Arkansas.

    A good coach says what needs to be said and nothing more, nothing less.

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