It’s been 7 years with 2 Olympic Gold Medals for Mike Krzyzewski, building back a somewhat torn down Dream Team franchise with Jerry Colangelo that suffered from a disappointing run before Coach K took the reigns. However, the 2012 London Olympics were the last time for him, and it’s likely that either Gregg Popovich or Doc Rivers will take over the position.
Krzyzewski went 62-1 with the national team since taking over in 2005, including winning the FIBA World Championships in 2010 and a bronze medal in 2006. Colangelo is trying to keep him as the head coach of the team, but Krzyzewski seems to have had enough of doing both the Duke job and coaching the Dream Team, not planning to be there when they play in the 2014 championships in Spain.
Who comes instead of him? We’ll probably know this summer. As Coach K has said himself, They have respect for the coaching staff, whoever that coaching staff would be, that they would not interrupt what those guys are doing. Sometime this summer I know Jerry Colangelo and USA Basketball will make an announcement.
Gregg Popovich, San Antonio Spurs
When it comes to his resume, no one can do better than Popovich among current NBA coaches, unless Colangelo prefers to stay among College Basketball head coaches, which seems unlikely at the moment.
Popovich has won four NBA titles with the San Antonio Spurs and has 16 consecutive seasons winning at least 61% of his games with the Spurs. But more than the achievements and numbers, it’s Popovich’s relation to the international game; his ability to judge character and talent and the kind of basketball the Spurs play, which fits very well with the international scene, before we speak of the talent and physical advantages the American players have.
Popovich was noted as looking slightly burned out in the previous interviews round in 2005, but according to reports in San Antonio, Popovich would welcome the opportunity to coach the Dream Team.
Doc Rivers, Boston Celtics
Rivers doesn’t have as many NBA titles as Popovich does, but the general opinion around decision makes tend to go with Rivers if Popovich doesn’t get the job. He won the NBA title with the Celtics in 2008 and reached the final again in 2010; He has nine winning seasons in his career, not to mention winning at least 59% of his games since the 2007-2008 season.
His ability to work with multiple stars on one team and being regarded as one of the best mixes in terms of a players’ coach and a guy who knows how to bring the hammer down when necessary puts him as one of the leading candidates.
Rick Carlisle, Dallas Mavericks
Another NBA champions, Carlisle has been in the NBA since 2001, and has finished with a losing record only once prior to this season, although it seems like the fall of the Mavs from their title days will get him a second one on his resume.
Still, Carlisle winning 58.7% of his games as a head coach certainly helps his reputation and chances, not to mention being regarded as one of the best in-game coaches in the NBA, with history of working with international players not hurting his chances as well. Still, Carlisle seems like an outsider in the race between Rivers and Popovich.