April 28, 2005
I was glad to hear that Hall of Famer Jerry Colangelo has been selected to be the head of USA Basketball.
Colangelo, the chairman and CEO of the Phoenix Suns, was appointed as the new managing director of the USA Basketball men's national team and that, my friends, is phenomenal news. Why, you ask?
First, Colangelo is a winner. Second, he won't allow a country-club atmosphere. He will make certain that the players he selects really want to play for Team USA and have a desire to win the gold medal as a team.
Yes, under Colangelo, it will be about the team concept about sharing and playing together and not just focusing on individual performance. You'd better believe Colangelo will choose players whose purpose is to bring honor to the red, white and blue.
Colangelo is the perfect choice, but now another important choice must be made: Who will be the team's coach? Who will be the leader, the guy organizing and directing and making sure the proper decisions are made by the players selected for Team USA?
Well, my friends, there's one guy who should be the first choice and the first call Colangelo should call on Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Krzyzewski, a Hall of Famer like Colangelo, has won three national championships and 700-plus games. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he was a successful student-athlete, playing basketball for coach Bob Knight.
Krzyzewski has great pride in what our nation stands for. His intensity and his ability to win would be the perfect fit for USA Basketball.
The combination of Coach K and Colangelo would be dynamic.
Colangelo will have the responsibility of choosing the U.S. men's national team, replacing a selection committee that chose recent teams featuring NBA stars.
With a roster of mainly NBA players, Team USA finished sixth in the 2002 World Championship (on its home turf in Indianapolis) and settled for the bronze in the 2002 Athens Olympics.
The next big test for Team USA is the 2006 World Championship in Japan, and after that comes the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Let me tell you, Colangelo's first order of business needs to be making that phone call to Durham, N.C., to get Krzyzewski aboard the ship that is sure to head in the right direction under the guidance of Mr. Colangelo, the new captain.
Dick Vitale coached the Detroit Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979. Send a question to Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.