Going Green and White at the Olympics?

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Fair use: msu.edu

Tom Izzo sporting Michigan State’s green and white.

Chloe Henderson, Staff Reporter

Duke Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski, more commonly known as Coach K, indicated on Monday that these Olympic games would be his last as coach of the U.S. men’s basketball team.

So who will be the next coach selected to lead USA to gold?  There’s already been much speculation in the sports world about who might next coach the U.S. men’s basketball team.  Ultimately, the choice will be made by USA Basketball Director Jerry Colangelo.

Many think that this time, an NBA coach will be selected.  An NBA coach could command the most elite players and could attract NBA players to want to play Olympic basketball.  However, USA Basketball needs a coach that is able to commit to the four-year Olympic Cycle.  This would include tryouts and other international events. This schedule often conflicts with the best NBA coaches’ schedules who generally work from September to June with playoffs.  This makes it difficult to coach in the NBA and the Olympic team.  This is part of the reason Duke Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski got the job.

While many in the sports world speculate they’ll go back to selecting an experienced and media savvy NBA coach as in prior years, some think that a highly regarded college coach with a winning record, like Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, would be the perfect fit.  Izzo has led Michigan State for 18 years and has taken them to 6 Final Fours and a National Championship.

According to the Detroit Free Press, Tom Izzo responded to speculations and Coach K’s news this week, “I’m not sure I would even have a shot at it, to be honest with you…That’s always been a dream and goal of mine.”

If chosen, Izzo wouldn’t be the first U.S. men’s basketball team coach from the state of Michigan as former Detroit Piston Coach Chuck Daly coached “The Dream Team” at the 1992 Olympics.