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Coach K on Olympic team: “I know LeBron will play”

Jun 21, 2012, 5:57 PM EDT

LeBron James Team USA Getty Images

Mike Krzyzewski has some tough decisions to make about the upcoming Team USA squad for the London Olympics — do you bring in a second true center behind Tyson Chandler or do you go “small” with Kevin Love in that role?

But there are some easy decisions, too.

“I know LeBron will play,” Krzyzewski told the Associated Press.

So Coach K isn’t going to cut to LeBron James, the best player on the planet. That’s some smart coaching.

Krzyzewski actually praised LeBron and his growth.

“I’m proud of LeBron and where he’s at right now, and I do think that when you’re that great a player, that great a talent, that you learn openly,” Krzyzewski added. “You don’t go learn in private. You’re out there while you’re learning, and while you’re learning, you’re going to be criticized for the things that you’re in the process of learning. … There’s some things you cannot learn unless you’re in that moment. Like, you can’t rehearse it.

“You can’t feel it until you’re in the moment of a finals, a gold medal game, a seventh game, a national championship. He’s been in two of those moments, and I think he’s shown in this series that he’s learned from those moments.”

While LeBron almost certainly plays, it would be a surprise if Dwyane Wade does. He is clearly bothered by his left knee and with a very short turnaround until the opening of USA Basketball Camp (July 6 in Las Vegas) he’s not going to have time to get it right.

As for the rest of the team, you can bet Kevin Durant will turn around from the finals and be there, as likely will Chris Bosh and maybe James Harden and Russell Westbrook. Coach K isn’t setting anything in stone.

“We don’t even know who the guys on the team are yet because we have to wait until we get them in Vegas to see where they are physically, family and contractually. Those three things, that I’ve learned over the last seven years, can cause a change just like that,” he added, snapping his fingers. “And then you have to be prepared for it.”

  1. pmd5319 - Jun 21, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    A ring and a gold medal within a couple of months. Good summer for LeBron.

    • camnellum12 - Jun 21, 2012 at 8:55 PM

      *And he’s getting married this summer as well, so it’ll be a great summer for LeBron.

      But it sucks that Wade won’t probably play, if everyone was healthy, this probably have been the 2nd greatest Olympic team behind the first Dream Team. Rose, Howard, and now Wade is out. Same thing for Spain, it’s less fun with Ricky Rubio and Rudy Fernandez.

      • camnellum12 - Jun 22, 2012 at 3:19 AM

        *without Ricky and Rudy. They’re both out with ACL injuries

  2. namriverrat69 - Jun 21, 2012 at 6:27 PM

    The King of shake and flake surrounced with all stars to carry him will help him win under Coach K. The “decision’ was such a disgusting display of selfishness “it will forever be all about me” and depravity he can play on any team and they will win only if, they have a line up of all stars around him. This year teams have internanal injuries and inexperience. The “King of Flake” will most likely win this first one but it should be his only one. I can’t see him getting any more rings with OKC with another year of experience, a healthy Chicago and Boston giving it another run. Any team can knock another team off on a given day. The given day for the Heat will be the day they win their one and only trophy with Lebron. Enjoy it heat fans because it will be your last one.

    Parity will win out in the end.

    • xanberlinx - Jun 21, 2012 at 7:26 PM

      Please tell me about how he’s greedy and selfish? Seriously it’s people like you who have the problem, not him. Why? Because your going to think that doesn’t matter but it does.The truth is even when he was overly full of himself, he still helped other people.

    • mikejd12 - Jun 21, 2012 at 7:42 PM

      First off Boston is 972 years old and ray allen is looking at coming to Miami. And if Miami gets ray Allen you might as well count them in the finals. All they have needed is a consistent 3 point shooter. Chicago will be good but unless they add some fire power they will end up sitting at home just like you. You mention the decision…Really…. your still holding on to this??? Come on man get a life. The guy goes on national TV and apologizes for it. What else do you want from him a BJ to? Your saying that miami will never win another one mean while all these guys signed 5 year deals. Your the same joker that said after last year they wouldnt win one.


      p.s. Selfishness?? 14 assists last night. Real selfish…..Donating all the money made from the decision (millions) to boys and girls club, who thanked him and said the money helped them immensely……. REAL SELFISH. Go back to your couch!

    • mikejd12 - Jun 21, 2012 at 7:49 PM

      And as much as you hate it, lebron is the best player on the planet…..period! And by the end of his career may be the best all time! Get over it

      • hangtime80 - Jun 21, 2012 at 8:06 PM

        Seriously this article is all about Lebron playing for team USA….and you don’t want that?? Best player on the planet…do you respect Magic Johnson…cuz he has said it…put your hate to the side…Team USA gold comes first!!!

    • florida727 - Jun 22, 2012 at 9:04 AM

      #namriver, thanks for the post. Made me laugh. Probably the single most idiotic post I’ve read in months. You’ve lapped the field, dude.

  3. ashutto20 - Jun 21, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    USA!!! USA!!! USA!!!

  4. karinil29 - Jun 21, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    He will play I have good faith in him! :-)

  5. karinil29 - Jun 21, 2012 at 9:27 PM

    I love u heat!!!!!!!! :-) <3

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