London 2012 will be my last Olympics admits USA men's basketball head coach Krzyzewski
Tuesday, 15 May 2012
May 15 - Mike Krzyzewski, the USA men's basketball head coach, has revealed that London 2012 will be his last Olympic Games in the role where his team of superstars, including the likes of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, will be heavy favourites for the gold medal.
Krzyzewski, one of the most respected basketball coaches in America, led the US men's basketball team to victory at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, where they were famously dubbed "The Redeem Team" because they successfully managed to re-establish the reputation of the United States as the best basketball nation on the planet after they humiliatingly won just a bronze medal at Athens 2004.
The victory came 16 years after Krzyzewski worked as assistant coach on the legendary gold medal winning 1992 "Dream Team" at the Barcelona Olympic Games featuring Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson in arguably the greatest team ever assembled in any sport.
Krzyzewski then led the US men's basketball team to victory at the 2010 FIBA World Championship, where, as with the Beijing 2008 Olympics (pictured below, James left, Byrant right), they went undefeated for the entire tournament, while his record since he took over the team shortly after Athens 2004 includes 49 wins and just one defeat.
But the 65-year-old admits that he will not appear at another Olympics after London 2012, where he hopes he will go out in style.
"It's the ultimate honour to have the opportunity to coach your country's team," he said here at the Team USA Media Summit.
"It's the ultimate.
"To work with our great athletes, to work with Jerry (USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo), I've learned so much.
"When Jerry asked me to do it again after 2008, to do it again was a good decision to make.
"But I think this is the last time.
"Hopefully we can win the gold medal."
Krzyzewski is also widely known across America in his hugely successful role as the head coach of the men's basketball coach at Duke University (pictured below), where he has led the team to four NCAA Championships, 11 Final Fours, 12 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) regular season titles and 13 ACC Tournament Championships.
But Krzyzewski admits that his career is at risk in his role with the Olympic team as nothing else but the gold medal is expected.
"There's no question you put your career a little bit on the line if you don't win the gold," he said.
"But not having the opportunity to coach the US team would be a worse loss.
"As good as I thought it was, it's better.
"The best honour of my coaching career has been to be the United States national coach."
July 2009: US coach to stay on for London 2012