Everyone around college basketball knows how great of a coach Mike Krzyzewski is. His resume speaks for itself. Now, everyone around the country knows as well. In his final game as Head Coach of the Olympic team, the United States won a back-and-forth affair against Spain and made sure that Coach K went out a winner. Seven years ago he was tabbed as the team’s head coach and it was the perfect selection. After seven years leading the United States Men’s Basketball Team, Krzyzewski finishes up with a 62-1 record to go along with two Olympic Gold Medals. Many people deserve credit for Team USA’s revival worldwide, but the man at the center of it all was arguably the greatest college basketball coach of all-time.
Mike Krzyzewski joined The Dan Patrick Show to talk about why he celebrated after Chris Paul’s basket late in the game, whether he had doubts about the team being able to win as it was going on, if he is officially retired from Olympic coaching, what coach he would suggest to take his place, what he thinks about the possible age restrictions in the Olympics and the team coming together as a unit.
On why he celebrated after Chris Paul’s basket:
“I knew then we were going to win. Even though there was time left, there’s a point where if you manage it right something catastrophic has to happen and there’s a lot of pressure, it’s a big build up, and it wasn’t just the moment of the game, it was the moment of the Olympics. It was the gold medal moment and I knew when he hit it that was going to be it.”
So then you had some doubts?
“What coach doesn’t have doubts during a ballgame? You’re always trying to win and prevent losing and whether you consider those being doubts or just concerns, I wouldn’t necessarily use the word doubt as much as concern. You’re managing the game and when you’re managing a game you’re managing what’s going to go right and trying to prevent what could go wrong. That’s what I do. When I know that I’m now in a position where I know we’re going to get it, it’s the gold medal, it’s a euphoric feeling.”
Whether he is officially retired from Olympic coaching:
“I would say that I’m officially retired from Olympic coaching.”
What coach he would suggest to replace him:
“That’s Jerry’s decision. (Host: But you have an opinion?) I wouldn’t say anyone specifically. What I would say is there are a number of guys who can obviously do the job and do it very well. It’s not just a one guy job. Their names are people who can manage, their names are people who are stars, come from different neighborhoods and it’s a lot of managing. The X’s and O’s are obviously important but the management on a day-to-day basis of the team is the most important thing. If you want to talk about egos, it’s trying to get everybody playing with the ego that they have with their parent team but do it under one umbrella of USA. That’s a huge thing, that’s a huge thing because a lot of the guys over the seven years that I’ve done it, they’re so good in being a USA basketball player that they become a little bit too humble sometimes or they hold back a little bit. It’s not a bad thing. The more you can get them into their performance ego that they have with their parent club the better you will be.”
On the possible age restrictions in the Olympics:
“I think as a single entity, if that’s the only thing that you are doing, that would be a bad thing to do. If you’re trying to change the course of how you look at global basketball and maybe making another event like the World Cup of basketball as a bigger event, there’s merit to discussing that but on its own I don’t think it should hit us anyways. You always have to look at the advancement of the game so throwing out ideas and implement that one idea alone I think would be a mistake.”
On the joy that the team showed at the end:
“What I liked about the end, obviously the first thing is we won, but they’re very genuine in their happiness. To see those guys and how happy they were together, they’re so unselfish. Really good guys, really good guys. LeBron, for all the stuff that he gets from people, it’s just ridiculous. He is so darn good and he wants the ball in clutch situations. He came through over and over again for us in world competition. He’s a fantastic leader and he’s as smart as anyone playing any game. The guy is brilliant and he’s a good guy.”