Mike Krzyzewski Unlikely To Coach Team USA In 2016: Top 5 Coach K Replacements

on May 14 2012 4:02 PM
Mike Krzyzewski
The upcoming London Olympics may be the last for USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski . Who should replace Coach K as head of the squad? Reuters

The upcoming London Olympics may be the last for USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski . Who should replace Coach K as head of the squad?

Krzyzewski, the legendary Duke coach, says it's unlikely he'll return to coach Team USA at the 2016 games but envisions himself being involved in USA Basketball in the future, according to the Associated Press.

Mike Krzyzewski, 65, led USA Basketball to a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics at Beijing. He and Team USA followed that up with a first-place finish at the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey.

Krzyzewski was brought in to energize Team USA after an embarrassing bronze medal performance at the 2004 Olympics in under head coach Larry Brown.

Now it appears that Krzyzewski, who will continue to coach at Duke, will be passing the torch to another Team USA coach.

Who should that be? Here's a list of five coaches who would make great fits for the position. The list does not account for how amenable the coaches are to taking the job.

1.       Jim Boeheim: Boeheim, the Syracuse coach, was an assistant under Krzyzewski for Team USA in 2008 and 2010. He's popular with the pros and handing him the job should be a smooth transition from Coach K.

2.       Mike D'Antoni: Like Boeheim, the ex-New York Knicks coach was a Coach K assistant in 2008 and 2010. An added bonus is D'Antoni is out of a job, so there's more reason for him to accept the position than busy NBA and college coaches.

3.       Erik Spoelstra: The young Miami Heat coach has shown he's adept at handling star players in LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. The Team USA roster will be loaded with stars, so Spoelstra will be a great fit at USA Basketball head coach. But the Heat are one of the favorites to win the NBA title this year and a long season may cause Spoelstra to spurn a potential offer to coach Team USa.

4.       John Calipari: Calipari is one of basketball's premiere coaches and is coming off an NCAA title with the Kentucky Wildcats. There's no denying Calipari would like to get a chance to rewrite his NBA legacy after failing as head coach of the New Jersey Nets. Coaching Team USA gives Calipari that chance while also upping his credentials as a hot NBA coaching candidate should he lead USA Basketball to gold.

5.       Phil Jackson: The Zen Master may be content at retirement, but he's arguably the most respected coach out there. Should Jackson get the itch to coach without dealing with a grueling NBA schedule, coaching Team USA would be a happy medium between retirement and an NBA job. 

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