Thursday, April 30, 2009 Updated: May 22, 9:40 PM ET
Coach K undecided on Team USA role
By Chris Sheridan ESPN.com
Mike Krzyzewski led USA to gold last summer. Will he come back to try it again in 2012?
NEW YORK -- As he sat comfortably in a plush chair in a third-floor office at the NBA Store, Mike Krzyzewski straddled a prickly fence.
Yes, he'd kind of like to coach Team USA at the 2010 World Championship in Turkey and the 2012 Olympics in London, but no, he is not ready to give a 100 percent commitment.
Also, the job hasn't officially been offered to him yet by Team USA czar Jerry Colangelo, and even if it had been, Coach K does not plan on making up his mind until late July -- at the earliest.
"I have a good interest in giving that full consideration," Krzyzewski told ESPN.com in an interview to promote his book, "The Gold Standard: Building a World-Class Team." "I've sat down with Jerry a little bit, but not in full detail, about just how we're going to do it, and also regarding the commitment of the players. How are we going forward, and how many of these guys [who won the gold medal in Beijing] will go forward?
"I'd be leaning more toward [committing] if I knew I could coach pretty much the same core guys, just because we've established such a great relationship. But I still have to coach Duke, so the consideration has to be how my family feels and how Duke feels. We've put so much time in building the structure and the program that I want to be a part of it going forward.
"If I'm not coaching it, I still want to be a part of it. But I also want to be fair, and [there is the question of] should somebody do this another time?"
Team USA will pretty much have the summer off, at least in terms of competition.
The United States qualified for the 2010 Worlds by virtue of winning the 2008 Olympics, so USA Basketball will not send a team to compete in the Tournament of the Americas this summer.
But the U.S. team will hold a minicamp in late July in Las Vegas, where the competition will be fierce (invitees include Kevin Durant, Rajon Rondo, Brandon Roy, Danny Granger, Derrick Rose, O.J. Mayo, Jeff Green, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, David Lee, Andre Iguodala and Devin Harris) to be among the players considered for the 2010 team.
First, however, the core members of the 2008 Redeem Team must decide whether they want to make another three-year commitment -- and that is where the whole picture of how Team USA will proceed begins to get a little fuzzy.
Colangelo likely wants most everyone back on board. Krzyzewski wonders whether that is realistically possible.
"There's a part of me, and I don't think Jerry feels this way -- I think he probably sees the team being the same in '10 and '12, but I think that'll be very hard. First of all, that summer, 2010, is when some of these guys are going through [free agency]; I don't know if they can afford to do that," Krzyzewski said. "LeBron [James] is great, but if he's going through the biggest negotiation of his life at that time, can he afford to do it?"
Colangelo thinks so.
James was one of six members of the 2008 team who met with Colangelo during All-Star Weekend in February (the others were Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Dwight Howard and Chris Paul), with Colangelo making the pitch that he wants as much continuity as possible moving from '08 to '10 to '12, and another three-year commitment can be shrunk to a two-year commitment if the United States manages to win the World Championship (something that hasn't happened since 1994) and thereby avoids pre-Olympic qualifying in the summer of 2011.
"I laid it all out for them, told them, 'Here's how I think,' and asked 'How do you feel about it?" Colangelo said. "All six of them said, 'Let's do it.'"
Two other 2008 Olympians, Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams, would figure to have grandfather rights toward claiming spots on the 2010 team, whereas three of the remaining four -- Carlos Boozer, Tayshaun Prince and Michael Redd -- were not in Coach K's playing rotation in Beijing and thus cannot be considered locks for 2010. (The 12th Redeem Team member, Jason Kidd, likely has retired from international competition).
"There are variables -- injuries and free agency are the main two -- that will have a bearing on the makeup, but we have nothing but time on our side, so I'm not pushing anything because there's no reason to," Colangelo said. "But now we have something to defend, and the competitor in you tells you to go defend the hill. We've had a terrific run, but we're not finished. I think we need to win the World Championship to complete that job."
Chris Sheridan covers the NBA for ESPN Insider. To e-mail Sheridan, click here.