Report: Popovich ‘the No. 1 choice’ to replace Krzyzewski for Team USA

Pop wants you -- to play for Team USA.
Adam Hunger/Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The USA men’s basketball Olympic team has seen great success under the stewardship of head coach Mike Krzyzewski. The Duke coach has led Team USA to consecutive Olympic gold medals. But his time with the national team is reportedly close to an end — news that has raised the question of who will succeed Krzyzewski with Team USA.

Enter the world’s greatest basketball coach? Possibly, according to a report from CBS Sports’ Ken Berger, who quotes a source in the coaching industry as saying that San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is a no-brainer to take over for Team USA:

The Spurs' five-time champion coach is “clearly, unquestionably the No. 1 choice,” according to a person involved in the coaching business. “There really is no second place.” Not only is he the most accomplished and respected current NBA coach, but Pop also checks several other boxes that Krzyzewski and Colangelo will no doubt consider in identifying possible successors. (Yes, both men will have most, if not all the say in who gets this gig.)

But Berger raises several issues with Popovich as Team USA coach. There’s the question of whether an active NBA coach leading the national team would be an unfair advantage in recruiting free agents, for one. And Popovich once had something of a rivalry with Team USA director Jerry Colangelo when the latter was with the Phoenix Suns.

Most importantly of all, there’s not yet any indication Popovich wants the job. But if he does, he’s the most logical choice.

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