LONDON — Jerry Colangelo hasn’t given up on Mike Krzyzewski returning as U.S. men’s Olympic basketball coach after the London Games.
Krzyzewski has said he believes this will be his last time coaching the national team. Colangelo said Monday he thinks that is probably true. Still, the USA Basketball chairman added he’s “not 100 percent sure” Krzyzewski is done.
“I know what he’s said so far and that may be the case and maybe not,” Colangelo said. “And I’m kind of thinking that he’s probably not going to come back unless he changes his mind.
“If he’s finished coaching, I’m going to keep him involved and he’s going to be right alongside me. That’s the way I see it and then we’ll talk about who’s next.”
But not before he takes another run at the coach.
Colangelo said he will discuss the future with Krzyzewski at an appropriate time to see “what his circumstances truly are” before considering a successor.
He secured Krzyzewski’s commitment to return over pizza and a bottle of wine after the 2008 Olympics, and Colangelo plans to give that tactic another shot.
“We’ll have pizza and wine again,” Colangelo said. “We’ll see if it works a second time.”
The 65-year-old Krzyzewski indicated in May that his lengthy international coaching career was nearing an end, saying: “I think this is the last time.” He has been on the staff of 12 U.S. teams since 1979, leading the Americans to the gold medal at the Beijing Games.
Colangelo, who formed the national team program in 2005 and hired Krzyzewski as his coach, has already said he intends to return. No matter what Krzyzewski’s previously said, Colangelo may need to hear the answer himself from the four-time national champion at Duke.
“We’ll worry about that if we win,” Krzyzewski said. “If we don’t win, he won’t have to worry about that.”
Either way, Krzyzewski is open to another meal.
“I’ll still grab a pizza from him. Any time I can get free food and wine from him, I’ll milk that offer,” Krzyzewski joked. “But let’s win first and then be put in the position where I can get free pizza and wine.”