Also named as assistants were New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams and Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. Thibodeau and Williams will be replacing former Portland Trail Blazers coach Nate McMillan and Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni who, no doubt, has his hands full with NBA drama.
Returning as head coach is Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, winner of back-to-back Olympic championships. Krzyzewski, who had previously declared the end of his reign as head coach of the team, announced his intention to remain on board through the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
Krzyzewski is reportedly excited about his coaching staff. Regarding Thibodeau, he said in a USA Basketball Press Release that “his reputation speaks for itself … I think he is one of the best defensive coaches. His defensive game plans are incredible and so I am really looking forward to working with him.”
“It’s truly an honor,” Thibodeau said about being given this opportunity. “I am honored that Jerry Colangelo and Mike Krzyzewski have asked me to join the USA Basketball National Team coaching staff.”
At age 55, Thibodeau is regarded as one of the best defensive coaches in the league, leading his Bulls to the playoffs in each of the three years that he’s been with the team. Thibodeau said his duties will begin this summer, spending time with the U.S. Select team that will include Bulls forward Taj Gibson.
Thibodeau’s selection is his first with USA Basketball.