With the college basketball season and most of the recruiting process over, Duke University Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski is now in full Team USA mode. The man who has been at the helm of USA Basketball's rebirth feels confident that 2012 will play out much like 2008 in Beijing did, but according to ESPN's Marc Stein, he's even more certain that this is will be his last go around with the world's best athletes.
"I think this is the last time. I hope we can win the gold medal."
Coach K has been spectacular for Team USA. Having a guy with his coaching skills (not to mention the extra time off to game plan) was exactly what Team USA needed to get back to being the dominant force in international play. Now that he's stepping away, it's time for another military grad to take the reigns of the team: San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. Pop's hold everyone accountable coaching style is similar to Coach K's and seems to be one of the few ways to get stars to work together with a common goal in mind. He has Team USA experience, though most would like to pretend that 2004 in Athens didn't happen, and he has the name recognition to get his players' attention.
However, there's already a problem according to this tweet by Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski.
"For those discussing next Team USA coach, it should be Gregg Popovich. That won't happen, though, because of a poor relationship with Jerry Colangelo."
Colangelo, for those who haven't been keeping track, is Team USA's chairman. Woj went on to tweet that the next best pick if not Pop would be Celtics head coach Doc Rivers. That wouldn't be a bad choice either, but hopefully Pop at least gets an interview. There's no telling what the nature of Pop and Colangelo's beef is, but perhaps they could hash it out. This seems like the perfect next step for Pop. If he and Tim Duncan retire two seasons from now, Pop moves on to preparing Team USA for the 2014 World Championships and then 2016 Olympics in Rio (in addition to his front office duties with the Spurs). Don't expect any sort of announcement till after London, which hopefully gives the media plenty of time to pressure Colangelo to consider Pop.
What, coach Pops a second fiddle? Just because coach K is shying away from coaching the USA basketball team that coach Pops should step in? No way man!
This article explains th ebeef. Also a great old article about Pop and the Spurs from the 2007 title.
@JasonPerkins44Nice catch, Jason! I've added it to our Crossover Chronicles story coming out soon on the same topic.