No doubt about it, Lebron James and Co. are going to miss Mike Krzyzewski running the USA men's basketball team. He took USA back to the top of the basketball world the past two Olympics.
With the announcement of Krzyzewski stepping down, who will take over as head coach of the best basketball team in the world? Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers and San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich are the top two candidates, Marc Stein of ESPN reported. But are they the best choices?
Here are my top five choices, in no particular order, to replace Krzyzewski:
Eric Spoelstra - Out of my five choices, this one probably will come with the most criticism. Spoelstra has the experience in coaching three superstars already in his pocket. That experience could come in handy when were talking about leading a whole team of superstars.
People who disagree with this pick will argue they Spoelstra is too young, or even possibly overrated. But it's his age that would make him a contender for the vacant head coaching position. Team USA needs a coach that can stick with them for the long run and at 41 years old, Spoelstra could be that guy. At that age, Spoelstra would be primed for a long run of Olympic gold medals.
Gregg Popovich - Out of the two reported "top candidates", Popovich is the only one that I can agree with. Popovich owns a .680 winning percentage as a head coach in the NBA. On top of that, Popovich owns 4 NBA titles and would probably love to add Olympic gold.
Popovich also has experience, already, with Team USA. He served as an assistant under George Karl during the 2002 World Championship and the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens where he won a bronze medal with the team. With a better team now, Popovich would probably look forward to another shot at Gold.
George Karl - If Doc Rivers is being considered for the position, then I feel like George Karl should be as well. Karl is apart of a small group of coaches with over 1,000 wins as a head coach in the NBA.
Karl, as I previously mentioned, already has experience coaching the USA team. After a very poor outing in the 2002 World Championship, Karl could make up for that by leading Team USA again. This time around, Karl would have a better and more mature bunch of players. With no championship in the NBA, coaching the Olympics would be Karl's best chance to finally be a champion.
Bill Self - Self is another coach who has age on his side. At age 51, Self also would be able to provide team USA with a head coach for a while. Self has proven to be very successful at the college level. With a .752 winning percentage, Self has been to the NCAA Tournament 14 straight times with three different teams and one National Championship with Kansas.
If I was Jerry Colangelo, Self would be second on my list of possible head coaches. He is young for a coach and already very successful. One downfall for Self would be his lack of professional coaching experience. That to me shouldn't be enough to take his name out of consideration though.
Scott Brooks - Brooks owns a very similar resume to Eric Spoelstra. The only difference is the one championship and one more NBA Finals appearance that Spoelstra has. Brooks is near the same age as Spoelstra at 47 years old, and has the same experience leading a big three of his own.
Since Brooks does coach Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook with the Oklahoma City Thunder, he has that advantage. He has already led a very young Thunder team to the NBA Finals. Also, his team gets better and better every year. He has a bright future in the NBA. The thing for Brooks is that, Spoelstra would more than likely get the head coaching job before he did. Still Brooks would be a very good choice. If he isn't considered for the head coaching job, him and Spoelstra should be looked at as assistants on the USA team.