Published March 06, 2012
Mike Krzyzewski is only thinking about this year, not about a potential third Olympics as U.S. men's basketball coach.
Clearing up the confusion created when Cleveland rookie Kyrie Irving said he "found out" Krzyzewski planned to lead the U.S. again in 2016, the Duke coach said Tuesday he is focused only on the remainder of this year's responsibilities.
"While Kyrie and I have discussed his potential role with USA Basketball in the future, my focus right now is on the remainder of our Duke team's season and the 2012 Olympics," Krzyzewski said in a statement provided by USA Basketball. "Jerry Colangelo and I have not discussed anything beyond what is ahead of the USA National Team this summer as we pursue a gold medal in London."
Krzyzewski led the U.S. to gold in 2008 and signed on the following summer for another run as coach. He guided the Americans to a world basketball championship in 2010 and they will be favored to defend their Olympic title this summer.
A member of 11 USA Basketball coaching staffs, he may have been motivated to stick around in 2016 had his hometown of Chicago won the bid to host those games. But Brazil won out, and if Krzyzewski opts to return, he would be 69 that summer.
Irving, who holds dual U.S. and Australian citizenship, said Monday he would not pursue a chance to play for Australia this summer in hopes of playing for the U.S. in four years. The point guard played for Krzyzewski in his lone college season, and he said the chance to play for Krzyzewski again made his decision easier.
But Colangelo also denied that decisions have been made — about Krzyzewski or Irving.
"There's been no discussion about roles beyond this summer, and it would be premature to do so," Colangelo said. "Kyrie is an exciting player who is on our radar and while it is impossible to forecast what will happen in the next couple of summers, I'm sure if he continues to play at the level he is playing at now he will be given serious consideration for future USA Basketball teams."