Coach K Will Continue To Lead Team USA Basketball
Eight years ago, Duke coach Mike Krzysewski was brought in to fix the culture of the United States National Men’s Basketball Team. Once an almost unstoppable juggernaut, the team finished 3rd at the 2004 Olympics and finished an embarrassing (given their talent level) 6th at the World Championships in 2002. Something needed to change, and Coach K proved to be that change. After taking 3rd at the World Championships in ’06, the team won gold at the Olympics in ’08, gold at the World Championships in ’10 and gold again at the Olympics last summer in London. All along, the plan was for Krzysewski to step down around now, but after plenty of deliberation, he’s decided to stay on.
According to ESPN, the official announcement will come during a press conference tomorrow morning, but the decision appears so set in stone, individual players have already started responding to the news. Not surprisingly, they’re pretty pleased. Here’s a portion of what LeBron James had to say…
"What he means to USA Basketball is beyond just what we do on the court. It's what we stand for as Americans and being proud of the red, white and blue every time we step off the bus or practice or talk to the media or whatever the case may be. I think it's great."
Exactly who Coach K might bring along with him to coach the upcoming World Championships and the Olympics afterward is unclear, but most assume he will at least bring along Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim who has already publically announced he’s ready and willing to try and win some more medals with US basketball.
With the popularity of basketball exploding around the world, other nations are starting to catch up with the United States in terms of talent. That being said, there’s no single country that can match the US’ depth or star power; so, the team will clearly be heavy favorites the next two times around.