Other than DePaul's egregious decision to not allow recruit Walter Pitchford out of his letter of intent -- sorry, but I'm probably going to keep harping on this one for a while -- the other main hoops news story that came across the wires late Wednesday night involved Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. Specifically, it involved the rumors that Coach K has become the apple of Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Danny Ferry's eye. The thinking is obvious: Coach K and LeBron James formed a bond on the Beijing Olympic Team in the summer of 2008, and K would be one of the few coaches anywhere with the gravitas to affect LeBron's decision. You know the drill.
Drama! Intrigue! The only problem is that this is almost certainly not going to happen. Actually, no. I'll go further. There is no way this happens. And we really need to stop talking about it.
I'm not referring just to Coach K and the Cleveland Cavaliers. I'm talking about any and all Coach K-to-the-NBA rumors. Such rumors have sporadically followed Coach K since 2004, when he reportedly turned down a $40 million offer from the Los Angeles Lakers. They continued last summer, when reports indicated Krzyzewski could have had Phil Jackson's job had Jackson decided to retire. And they popped up again this year: The New Jersey Nets were supposedly trying to make K an offer he couldn't refuse, a story we heard twice during Duke's 2009-10 championship run -- including once at the Final Four.
It isn't going to happen. Here's what Coach K said about the Cavaliers rumors:
Krzyzewski admitted Wednesday that "it's more of a compliment -- it's not an insult" to hear his name mentioned for several NBA coaching vacancies. But he also reaffirmed what he's been saying for years, every time those rumors pop up: He isn't going anywhere. "You just can't take it further than that, because then you're trying to milk the situation for the wrong thing," he said. "So I'd rather nip it right away and move on."
That's pretty definitive, but even that pales in comparison to Coach K's remarks on the matter at the Final Four. When asked the question in Indianapolis, Krzyzewski wasn't just dismissive. He seemed, well, settled. Happy. He spoke of the loyalty Duke showed him in the early part of his career. He said he planned to repay that loyalty. He seemed in no way like a man ready to uproot his life, reboot his career, and take on the very unwieldy challenge of adapting to coaching in the NBA.
"I haven't been contacted. I wouldn't have any interest in the job," Krzyzewski said in a statement released by Duke. "You would be flattered if someone would offer you a job, but I would not be interested."
"Duke has been committed to me when I wasn't with Knight and Rupp and those guys. They were committed to me when we were 38-47," Krzyzewski said in reference to his early years in Durham. "Just from where I'm from, whatever, that will never leave my heart, that type of commitment. So I'll be at Duke even after I stop coaching. You know, that's where I'm going to be."
Sure, maybe in 2004, Coach K would have wanted to leave for the NBA. Maybe he would have wanted to take on the challenge. But at this point in his career, do you really think Coach K is going to make that transition? After he's ignored so many opportunities to do just that? And after he's enumerated his loyalty in such blatant terms? Some hoops fans may not like Krzyzewski, but no one's ever accused him of not standing by his word.
So, yeah, it's not going to happen. Which is why I'm officially declaring a moratorium on all Krzyzewski-to-the-NBA discussion. I have no power to do so, but I'm not going to let that stop me. It's silly. He's not going anywhere. Now let us never speak of it again.