Thursday , Mar , 24 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Coach Krzyzewski not interested in coaching Kobe and Lakers?

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said he’s not interested in the Lakers job, which will become available if Phil Jackson stays true to his promise to retire at season’s end.

"I’ve never thought of ever leaving Duke for another school but there were three serious times where I almost left to go to the pros," Krzyzewski said. "One was when Dave Gavitt took over the Celtics [in 1990], another was with the Trailblazers [in 1994] and the one that I took to a really far level was the Lakers situation. They were great with me. I just could not give up what I’ve done and gotten at Duke. It just wasn’t worth it."

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Surprisingly, what Kobe Bryant wants, he doesn’t always get.

In 2004, the Los Angeles Lakers offered Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski the keys to the Staples Center. ‘Coach K’ said no, though, turning down a reported five-year, $40 million pact.

Seven years later, history, it seems, is repeating itself. Once again, Krzyzewski has no interest in jumping to the pro ranks with the Lakers –if Coach Phil Jackson actually retires at season’s end.

Why the interest in Krzyzewski?

Well, he is the greatest college coach ever. The Blue Devils, love them or hate them, have had terrific success because of their coach.

Any questions about Krzyzewski’s ability to handle pros was put to rest at the 2008 Olympics and 2010 FIBA World Championships. He easily handled the NBA’s biggest names and egos at Beijing, and led a less established squad to glory at Turkey. 

Most importantly, Bryant, the Lakers’ top dog, wants Krzyzewski. Bryant went from high school to the NBA, but would have gone to Duke if he attended college.

Even as a teenager, Bryant felt a connection with Krzyzewski. He respected his work ethic, passion, and dedication to being the best. That respect only grew with their time at USA Basketball.

Give Krzyzewski his due. Getting paid a brinks truck of money to coach the world’s glamour franchise and player isn’t enough to compromise his happiness and leave Duke.

–Oly Sandor.

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