The Los Angeles Lakers may need a new coach this offseason after two uneven years from Mike D’Antoni. D’Antoni still has a year left on his contract, but several players — including Kobe Bryant — have been skeptical about whether he is the correct coach going forward. They once made a huge offer to Mike Krzyzewski, which he declined, but would things change this time around?
Krzyzewski has been one of the most successful coaches in college basketball of all time. He has been to 11 Final Fours and has won four championships. He has coached many great players over the years and made Duke into a national powerhouse. Many would say that he has created the perfect situation for himself at Duke. This year he had an extremely talented team poised to make a deep run, but the team was upset in the second round of the tournament. With this latest loss, could Krzyzewski be looking for a new challenge before he retires once and for all?
As mentioned before, Krzyzewski has done it all in college basketball. He has won big, has a great home-court advantage and is loved by everyone associated with the university. But he still has not tested the NBA waters, and this could be his chance to make the move. He has turned down many offers, but coaching Bryant before he retires could be a perfect match made for both sides.
Bryant deeply respects Krzyzewski, especially after strongly considering Duke before entering the NBA Draft. He has played for him on Team USA and has seen Krzyzewski unite a group of superstars to properly represent USA Basketball. They have years of familiarity, and both the player and coach understand one another.
Krzyzewski’s experience with Team USA and Duke would make him a great fit for the Lakers. He has been in the spotlight and understands the pressure that comes with coaching in Los Angeles. His character and teaching credentials would lure many superstars, especially those who have gotten the chance to play with Team USA (or Duke). At age 67, he can still coach as evidenced by his variety of teams. He has coached senior laden teams, teams with younger stars, teams with high expectations and even some teams that could be considered underdogs. All his teams play with heart and passion, and they are not afraid to slap the floor before a defensive possession. More importantly, he knows how to coach NBA players and understands the differences the NBA has from college basketball.
The Lakers would be wise to go after Krzyzewski one last time. He has so much to bring to the table and is the best chance the Lakers have at rebuilding quickly. The only thing missing on his resume is an NBA Title, and what better way to pursue that dream than with a player he deeply respects.