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Newz Forum: BASKETBALL: Coach K say's NO to the Lakers

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posted on Jul, 5 2004 @ 01:24 PM
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Mike Krzyzewski is staying at Duke, ending talks with the Los Angeles Lakers about becoming their coach. The school said Monday that Krzyzewski had informed the Lakers of his decision. An afternoon news conference on campus was scheduled for 5 p.m. ET.

Krzyzewski, who has led Duke to three national titles in his 24 years at the school, met with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak on Thursday to discuss the team's coaching vacancy, one of the NBA's showcase positions. Even Lakers star Kobe Bryant was reportedly involved in trying to persuade Coach K to take the job.

The Lakers had no immediate comment Monday on the decision by Krzyzewski, who signed a lifetime contract with Duke three years ago. The Lakers have been searching for a new coach since June 18, when coach Phil Jackson stepped down three days after an NBA Finals loss to Detroit.

The Los Angeles Times and ESPN reported that Krzyzewski was offered the job, but Lakers officials had refused comment. Kenny Randolph, father of Duke forward Shavlik Randolph, said Krzyzewski told him in a phone call late Monday morning that he would stay with the Blue Devils.

"He just basically said the thing sort of ballooned out of proportion and that he appreciated our friendship and confidence, and that he'd remain at Duke," Randolph said. "And that's all that had to be said. "I told him, 'Gosh, coach. I've got chill bumps.' And he said, 'I do, too.' "

The 57-year-old Krzyzewski has a 621-181 record at Duke, leading the Blue Devils to championships in 1991, 1992 and 2001. Under Krzyzewski, the Blue Devils have 10 Final Four appearances, eight Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championships and 10 conference regular-season titles. His Duke teams have been ranked No. 1 in 12 seasons, including each of the last seven.

Gary Melchionni, father of junior Lee Melchionni and a former Duke basketball player, expressed relief that Krzyzewski will try to add to his impressive Duke resume.

"That's great news," Melchionni said. "I just want him to get back to work."

Krzyzewski has had several flirtations with the NBA and has said he came close to leaving Duke in 1990 to coach the Boston Celtics. Following the loss to the Pistons, the Lakers said Jackson wouldn't return. Jackson, who signed a five-year, $30 million contract with the Lakers in June 1999, guided them to championships in his first three seasons.

Former Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich has been considered a front-runner to succeed Jackson. He has met with team owner Jerry Buss and Kupchak. Former Lakers coach Pat Riley, an executive with the Miami Heat, also met with Buss and Kupchak, but issued a statement saying he wasn't a candidate. Others mentioned have been Kurt Rambis and Jim Cleamons, members of Jackson's staff.

But the Lakers appeared most interested in trying to lure Krzyzewski from Duke, a private school where basketball has a rabid following among the 6,300 students. The Cameron Indoor Stadium hardwood is named "Coach K Court." Outside the arena, a sign designates the grassy plot where students camp out to attend games as "Krzyzewskiville," where the coach has been known to occasionally buy pizzas for the waiting "Cameron Crazies."

After the Lakers' interest became known, Duke officials said they were open to improving Krzyzewski's contract. John Burness, Duke's senior vice president for public and government relations, said Monday the university has spoken with Krzyzewski about the contract "and it's reasonable to assume some modifications will be made." He would not elaborate.

Burness said the Lakers' effort to land Krzyzewski was nothing new at Duke.

"We have some of the most outstanding academic people in the world, and we have to address the fact that other leading institutions try to raid us regularly," he said.

"We realize that when we have the best people ... they'll always be in high demand."

posted on Jul, 5 2004 @ 01:28 PM
Nice to see him stay with Duke. They are always my favourite to win Maech Madness, and coach K ia always a big part of their sucess. Nice to see at least one person take the position over the money.


posted on Jul, 5 2004 @ 02:36 PM
Maybe if the team was less drama related he would have gone, but its the Lakers and there is non stop drama.

posted on Jul, 5 2004 @ 03:50 PM
Dang, that means Duke will still be good next year.

Oh well, at least they lost Shaun Livingston and Luol Deng.

posted on Jul, 5 2004 @ 03:59 PM

Originally posted by Fox Mulder
Dang, that means Duke will still be good next year.

I was thinking the same exact thing, but in reality I think Coach K is good for the ACC. I dont think we would enjoy UNC beating Duke by 30 points. Or would we?

Good thing is, as you mentioned they lose Dung and Livingston and the Heels have a nice freshman class coming in, I think Roy will get them a step ahead of Duke this upcoming season. We have a new coaching rivalry now with Roy and Coach K that we havent seen since good 'ol Dean Smith left back in '98.

Hey, whatever happened to that real good kid supposed to come to Chapel Hill this year but got into some trouble?

posted on Jul, 5 2004 @ 04:06 PM
The Lakers can probably count themselves lucky that Mike Krzyzewski didnt take them up on the offer to coach Team Dysfunction. But the real winners in this are college basketball, its fans and Duke University.

The Lakers will get along without Coack K on the sideline, and theyll probably get along better without him than they would have with him. But if he had gone the way of so many before him and jumped like a porpoise for a herring at the $40 million L.A. was dangling in front of his beak, the college game would have taken a devastating hit.

Rather, if Coach K had gone to the Lakers, it would have cheapened the value of college coaching as a career. If the biggest name in the business had decided there was a better, more worthy and more meaningful level to go to, then everyone else coaching college ball would be on the same level as a minor league baseball manager. They would have been talented guys trying to get to the big leagues.

By staying at Duke and turning down $8 million a year, Krzyzewski said as emphatically as possible that the job he has is the best job he can get. He said that coaching college kids, even if they come for a year or two and leave, has more intrinsic value than trying to get NBA players to do what you tell them to do. He said that education is important, that a college can be as big a franchise as a city.

Most important, Krzyzewski said money isnt everything. He said there is a point at which a bigger paycheck doesnt justify tearing apart your life, leaving a place youve loved for nearly a quarter century and come to think of as your own, and moving to a land of bigger headlines and more camera crews. He said that personal satisfaction and a sense of belonging has a value that cant be measured in digits to the left of a decimal point.

I thought this MSNBC article from Mike Zelicek was really good, click the link for the rest of the article.

[Edited on 5-7-2004 by ProudAmerican]

posted on Jul, 5 2004 @ 11:57 PM

Originally posted by ProudAmerican

I was thinking the same exact thing, but in reality I think Coach K is good for the ACC. I dont think we would enjoy UNC beating Duke by 30 points. Or would we?

Well I wouldn't mind if we beat them by 30 points.
They've been beating us up pretty good as far as wins and losses are concerned the past few years.

Hey, whatever happened to that real good kid supposed to come to Chapel Hill this year but got into some trouble?

I remember something like that. I don't know what happened to him. I'll have to look into it.

posted on Jul, 6 2004 @ 03:43 PM
It's good to se coach K sticking to his roots, and not jumping into the bigger pond of the NBA. I hate to say I told you guys, but...

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