Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski is in Dallas today, talking up the 2012 men’s Olympic basketball team that he will coach again with hundreds of media types at the Olympic Media Summit. The 65-year-old coach made a bit of news by saying he would not coach the Olympic team again in 2016 -- he has been the national team's men's coach since 2006, and the team has gone 49-1 since then.
"I think this is the last time," Coach K said. "Hopefully we can win the gold medal."
I’m in Dallas, too, and will have a full column on Coach K and why he’s doing this again after directing the U.S. to a gold medal in 2008. But here are a few highlights from what he has said today:
-- He considers coaching the U.S. men’s national team the “ultimate honor” of his career – and remember, this is a man who has won multiple national championships as a college coach and is in basketball’s hall of fame. “As good as I thought it was, it’s better,” Krzyzewski said. “The best honor of my coaching career has been to be the United States national coach.”
-- As mentioned above, he won’t coach the U.S. team in 2016, so this is his last go-around at the Olympics (Coach K also was an assistant for the “Dream Team” Olympic team of 1992).
-- Krzyzewski agreed to shoulder the Olympic coaching load again when Jerry Colangelo, the national team’s director, asked him to do so late one night in Chicago over pizza and wine following the success of 2008. “I’m a cheap date,” Coach K joked. “Get me after midnight and I’ll say anything.”
-- Anthony Davis is the only player without NBA experience in the 18-man pool that will be cut on July 7th to the 12-man Olympic team. So it’s possible that Davis – who the Charlotte Bobcats have a 1-in-4 chance of getting in the next NBA draft, depending on how the Ping Pong balls roll in the NBA draft lottery May 30th – will be both a Bobcat and an Olympian. The biggest concern for the U.S. is that it may not have enough big men, particularly since Dwight Howard is injured and won’t be able to play.
“He’s an outstanding athlete,” Coach K said of Davis, adding that he liked the fact Davis didn't need the ball to be effective. “His defensive ability is what separates him.”