Once the 2012 Olympics is officially in the books for the United States, USA basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo may have to start considering a replacement for Mike Krzyzewski as the head coach of Team USA.
With Coach K leaning towards calling it a career on the international level, there’s a good chance that Team USA might have a new leader on the sidelines heading into the 2016 Olympics.
As of right now, Colangelo plans to make another pitch to Coach K in an effort to bring him back for one more go around. Chances are that the longtime Duke Coach will not be returning and a new Team USA Coach will have to be named.
A legitimate candidate to take over for Coach K before the 2016 Olympics should be current Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
“He’s the best coach for the traditional Olympic format of NBA stars, or the proposed under-23 change that could include his son, Austin Rivers.”
During his time with the Celtics, Rivers was able to turn around the storied NBA franchise by helping assemble the Big 3 of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. Along with bringing two superstars to playing alongside Pierce, the Celtics also had drafted Kentucky point guard Rajon Rondo to lead the way in the backcourt. The combination of these four players and Rivers coaching created another heavyweight in the Eastern Conference that went on to win an NBA title in 2008.
Needless to say, Rivers has been a great success in Boston thus far and continues to make the Celtics a perennial NBA title contender in the East. If he’s up for the challenge, Rivers would be a solid choice to replace Coach K in 2016.
With the NBA potentially changing to the under-23 format moving forward, international competition for the Americans will drastically change from here on out. It is uncertain at this point in time whether or not Team USA basketball will officially make the change, but if so, superstars competing overseas may become a thing of a past and much more difficult coach against the best of the best on the international level.
Other obvious potential coaching candidates to take over for Coach K are Mike D’Antoni, Nate McMillan and Jim Boeheim. All three of these potential candidates are currently on the Team USA coaching staff.
Another coaching option from the NBA ranks along with Rivers is four-time NBA champion Greg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs.
Along with the distinction as arguably the best active NBA head coach, Popovich also has experience on the international level as an assistant to George Karl for Team USA back in 2002 through 2004. Even though the team wasn’t all that successful back then, Popovich might be the answer as the head coach with the ability to build his own coaching staff.