USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo would love to have the experience, poise and stature of coach Mike Krzyzewski on Team USA's bench for another Olympics. But with Coach K saying he's done after two gold medals (and a world championship), the powers that be at USA Basketball are looking for the next best thing.
That may be Celtics coach Doc Rivers.
Rivers is reportedly on the short list of coaches that Colangelo and company would like to tap to replace Krzyzewski at the helm of Team USA moving forward, ESPN reports.
Other options include Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, Louisville coach Rick Pitino or current U.S. men's basketball assistants Nate McMillan and Mike D'Antoni. The decision-makers are said to favor an NBA coach, and they likely want someone who is actively coaching, so he won't be overwhelmed if he jumps back into coaching while also trying to lead Team USA (D'Antoni and McMillan). That leaves Rivers and Popovich as the main choices.
Rivers was an analyst for NBC during the London Olympics, giving insight on the U.S. team's run to a second straight gold.
Colangelo said he'll at least ask Krzyzewski to consider coaching again. Krzyzewski may also take on a role as an aide if he doesn't lead the team from the bench.
Krzyzewski has been widely respected for turning around a USA program that scuffled at the Athens Olympics, finishing third. He helped set up a situation where players were asked to commit more long-term than before, building the team throughout several years, and recruited players for roles and character as well as star power. In Team USA's run to gold in Beijing and London, he was credited for balancing personalities and egos while uniting the team toward a common purpose.
Rivers, who knows a thing or two about bringing stars together after leading the Celtics' 2008 championship run, has gathered the same kind of respect in his time as an NBA coach.