May 22, 2013, 1:09 PM EDT
Looks like Kevin Love will not have to do any recruiting after all.
After saying before, during and immediately after Team USA won the gold medal in London last summer that he was done as the head coach of the team, Mike Krzyzewski has had a change of heart.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski will be returning as the head coach of USA Basketball for the 2016 Olympics, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation. A formal announcement is expected in the next 48 hours.
USA Basketball President Jerry Colangelo had long wanted this outcome and was patient in the process of picking a replacement — such as Gregg Popovich or Doc Rivers — in hopes he could convince Krzyzewski to change his mind. Apparently Colangelo is a good salesman.
This is good news for people who like to see Team USA wearing gold.
Krzyzewski was 62-1 as coach for Team USA during the past eight years. The reason is players come to play for him — after it had been the trend for elite players not to suit up for Team USA Coach K helped change that. Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and pretty much every name player was ready to go for Team USA.
Coach K has the stature to rise above the petty politics of agents and shoe companies and get players to both suit up for the team and to check their egos at the door. Kobe was willing to focus just as a defensive stopper (although he still took a few shots). Krzyzewski put together a pressing, up-tempo system that was both fun to play and highlighted Team USA’s athletic advantages. It worked. And guys like to win.
And with him at the helm, Team USA winning in Brazil in 2016 seems even more likely.
Coach K will start the cycle again with a Team USA camp in Vegas this summer, next summer come the World Championships (win that and you get an automatic berth in the Rio Olympics). Expect some changes to his coaching staff, however — Mike D’Antoni and Nate McMillan may not return. That is not decided yet, however.
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