Coach K Has No Interest in Leaving Duke Right Now

February 16, 2010 – 10:55 am by Chris Fedor

Mike Krzyzewski is one of the most successful coaches in College Basketball history, he has the court named after him at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and he runs a highly successful program every single season. On top of that, he is one of the most prominent faces of College Basketball. Yet people still continue to link him to random NBA jobs. A couple of years ago when there was an opening in Los Angeles with the Lakers his name was linked to that job. Well that never came to fruition. Coach K turned down the job and decided to stay at Duke. Now he has been linked to the Nets. The Nets? The Nets are 4-48, their roster doesn’t resemble an NBA team and despite the fact that there will be new ownership and the potential for a new arena, I see no reason why Coach K would give up what he has at Duke to go to the Nets of all places especially if he once turned down a better situation with Los Angeles. Maybe one day he will decide that he has done everything that he can do at Duke and try a new opportunity in the NBA, but you can be sure that he won’t be leaving everything he has to take over a 4-win basketball team. (Editor’s note:  This may be a perfect opportunity for him to leave.  There have been rumors of Jerry Colangelo taking over control of basketball operations and they have the obvious relationship with the US Basketball team. Plus the Nets do have good young talent, they have room to potentially sign two max free agents, and he already has relationships with the likes of LeBron, Wade, Bosh, and Joe Johnson)

Mike Krzyzewski joined ESPN 1050 in New York with Michael Kay to talk about coaching his 1000th game, the New Jersey Nets rumors, and whether or not money would be a motivating factor to get him to leave Duke.

On the emotions of coaching his 1000th game:

“Afterwards when I got together with family and former players and that was it. I really tried to downplay that with my team because Maryland is so good. They have done a great job with their team. It couldn’t be because we’re playing in my 1000th game that we’re gonna win. We had to prepare for it the same way. You put a lid on your emotions and then afterwards it was just neat to see so many players, managers and people that have been a part of our program for 30 years back and that was a nice thing.”

On whether he dreamed about coaching his 1000th game:

“I never have and I won’t dream about going to 1500 or whatever. That’s not gonna happen. Also I’m more of a guy in coaching that does what he needs to do now. I don’t look back and I don’t look forward.  I look into right now. I’ve tried to do that since I coached at Army starting 35 years ago. It’s paid off for me focusing on what’s on hand, not what’s happened or is going to happen.”

On whether he would consider the Nets job:

“I would not. I was asked over the weekend about that after the game. First off all, I have a lot of respect for them. I think it’s a good job, it’s just not a good job for me and the Nets haven’t offered that. I hate to comment and make it appear that the Nets have done something that they haven’t done. They haven’t done that. I was goofing around after the game…I said for a Russian to hire a Polish guy, that’s just not gonna happen. That wasn’t meant in disrespect to them it was just a way of putting it behind us. When we come up there we always practice at the Nets facility, Rod Thorn and I are friends for decades and I think it has a lot of potential especially with really good financial backing. A lot of people have said no one would want that job. If I was a younger guy, and wanted to go into the pros, that would be appealing to me because you have a chance to build something with new ownership, hopefully a new arena soon, there’s a lot of newness there. I do think it’s something that will turn out very good, but I’m not gonna be a part of it. I’ll be cheering for them because they’re a really good organization.”

On whether or not he is bothered by people reporting things that aren’t fact:

“There is none. I think Michael that’s part of today’s day and age with blogs and twitter and all that stuff, talk shows. You don’t have to be accurate with your information. In fact you can be dead wrong. If I was contacted it would be all private and very, very respectful. That’s with any NBA team because I have the utmost respect for the NBA. I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of the NBA players on our national team and have gotten to know people throughout the league very, very well. It’s a great, great league as evidenced by the spectacular event last night with 108,000 people.”

On whether or not he would take a job with the Nets if he was offered around 20 million dollars:

“No. I know it’s a lot of money. I really love what I do. I don’t know what price you would be pay for that but I’ve been lucky. I said after the game on Saturday…it was really neat with the crowd, my family and everybody. I said it’s been a privilege and an honor to coach at Duke for 30 years and I could not have dreamed of a better situation for me. I’ve led a great life with my family and my team here. I don’t know why you’d wanna change that. It doesn’t mean you don’t wanna make money, but I make enough money. I wanna be happy and be at the place I’m at and do what I love to do instead of doing what I’m paid to do. I’m paid right now for doing what I love to do. What a great thing that is huh?”

Listen to Mike Krzyzewski on ESPN 1050 in New York here

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