Coach K turns down Lakers, remains at Duke
Durham, NC (Sports Network) – Mike Krzyzewski has reportedly turned down a
lucrative contract offer to coach the Los Angeles Lakers, choosing instead to
remain at Duke where he has coached the men’s basketball team for 24 years.
According to ESPN.com, Krzyzewski rebuffed the offer Monday after spending the
weekend thinking about it. ESPN reported last week that the Lakers had offered
Krzyzewski a five-year, $40 million deal.
Krzyzewski has compiled a 621-179 mark at Duke and a 694-240 record overall in
29 years of college coaching. University president Richard Brodhead and
athletic director Joe Alleva have 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 said at a press conference
Their wish has apparently been granted.
The Lakers have been in search of a head coach since Phil Jackson agreed to
leave the team after this past season. They 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.
A leading candidate for the job is 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.