Thursday , Jul , 01 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Coach K to L.A.?

Durham, NC (Sports Network) – According to Duke University Director of
Athletics Joe Alleva, Blue Devils head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has
been approached by the Los Angeles Lakers regarding the team’s head coaching
vacancy.

“Coach K has informed us that the Los Angeles Lakers have contacted him and
entered into serious discussions to fill their vacant head coaching position,”
said Alleva in a statement.

Krzyzewski has been the head coach at Duke for the last 24 years, leading the
school to three national championships and 10 Final Four appearances. He has
compiled a 621-179 mark at the school and a 694-240 record overall in 29 years
of college coaching.

“We have long believed that Mike is the best coach in the country,” said
Alleva. “The Lakers’ interest in him merely confirms what we have known. We
hope that Mike will decide to stay in college coaching at Duke, a place that
has been so special to him throughout his outstanding career.”

Alleva said in the statement that he and Duke president Richard Brodhead have
recently met with Krzyzewski and expressed their interest in having the coach
end his career with the Blue Devils program.

“We want Coach K to stay in the worst way,” Alleva later said at a press
conference.

The Lakers have been in search of a head coach since Phil Jackson agreed to
leave the team after this past season. The Lakers advanced to the NBA Finals
for the fourth time under Jackson this year, but lost to the Detroit Pistons
in five games. It was the first time in 10 NBA Finals that a Jackson coached
team failed to win a title.

The Lakers have reportedly met with a number of candidates for the vacant head
coaching position, but have yet to make an offer to anyone.

The leading candidate was believed to be former Houston Rockets head coach
Rudy Tomjanovich, who has already met with Lakers owner Jerry Buss and general
manager Mitch Kupchak.

Miami Heat president and former Lakers coach Pat Riley also met the Lakers
brass. However, he was not offered a deal and was ruled out as a candidate.

DUKE