This morning, USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo announced that Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski would return as the head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team through the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Here are some reactions from a number of NBA players on the Blue Devil head coach spending four more years at the helm of Team USA.
Miami Heat forward LeBron James, bronze medalist at the 2006 FIBA World Championship and gold medalist at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games:
“I think it’s great. What he means to USA Basketball is beyond just what we do on the court, it’s what we stand for as Americans in being proud to wear the Red, White and Blue every time we step on the bus, at practice, or talk to the media or whatever the case may be. So I think it’s great.
I have the utmost respect and trust in coach K. Whatever his decision was going to be, I think we would all support him.
It would be great [to play in 2016]. First I have to make sure I stay healthy. If I’m fortunate enough to stay healthy, I would love to represent my country again.”
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant, gold medalist and MVP at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and gold medalist at the 2012 Olympic Games:
“Playing for Coach K in 2010 and 2012 was an amazing experience. he’s a great coach, and USA Basketball is blessed to have him. He coaches with great passion, but always keeps us calm, and makes sure we are prepared for our opponents. I greatly respect his leadership, and always want to go out and play hard for him.”
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, gold medalist at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games:
“The news on Coach K with USA Basketball is great. He is an incredible coach who worked tirelessly to prepare us for different opponents. Even as a veteran, I learned a lot from his leadership. I appreciate all he’s done over the years for USA Basketball, and our country, in this position. I think Team USA is in great hands for the next four years.”
Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh, bronze medalist at the 2006 FIBA World Championship and gold medalist at the 2008 Olympic Games:
“He’s a great coach, one of the best to coach the game. I’m sure the USA Basketball community is very happy to have him back.”
Minnesota Timberwolves center Kevin Love, gold medalist at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and 2012 Olympic Games:
“I think Coach K is an excellent choice. I had a great time playing for him in 2010 and 2012. I have so much respect for him as a man and a coach, and I hope I get to play for him again in the future.”
Los Angeles Clippers guard Chauncey Billups, gold medalist at the 2010 FIBA World Championship and member of the USA Basketball Board of Directors:
“Playing for Coach K was one of the highlights of my career. I learned a great deal from him. We are lucky to have him lead us again.”