Give credit to Mike Krzyzewski for knowing what he wants and sticking to it. Coach K said Tuesday he will finish his coaching career at Duke, squashing the latest "Coach-K-to-L.A.-Lakers" rumor.
And why would Coach K leave? Well, he'd get to coach Kobe Bryant, of course (this is all assuming Phil Jackson walks away from the game eventually with his 10 NBA rings). He loved doing that during the Beijing Olympics.
I was there in China and K was absolutely loving his job, getting to interact with Kobe, BeBron, Dwyane Wade and everyone else on that star-studded team. You should have seen him after the wondrous gold-medal game against Spain -- he looked like he was going to levitate, he was so happy.
I fully expect Coach K to take the U.S. job again for the 2012 Olympics -- he hasn't said he would and an announcement won't come for a couple of weeks, but I think that's how he will satisfy his jones for coaching the best in the world.
But like many of the top college coaches, Coach K basically has his own fiefdom at Duke. He does what he wants when he wants (and, to be fair, has done it extremely well, and not just on the athletic side). He coaches players who still consider their coaches as demi-gods -- not like the NBA, where players often think of their coaches as either equals or expendable parts (often because the players make more than the coaches).
Leaving Duke would make no sense, really. Coach K has plenty of money already, and that's all a place like the Lakers could offer him that Duke could not. He can coach the world's best by taking the Olympics job again. Staying put -- forever -- is absolutely the right choice.
10 months ago