With a couple of Mike Krzyzewski’s former Team USA Basketball assistants choosing to focus on their respective NBA coaching careers – Mike D’Antoni is holding the Lakers together with Scotch tape while Nate McMillan is hunting for a job – Coach K had to dig into his rolodex for a new staff.
And apparently he’s elected to focus on defense for the lead up to the Rio Games: He’ll bring in Bulls helmer Tom Thibodeau and Pelican’s head coach Monty Williams to his bench that still includes Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, who’s returning for his third Olympic cycle under Krzyzewski.
Their three-year coaching commitment starts with a July mini-camp in Vegas, where they’ll have a chance to work with “rising NBA stars” including, we assume, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, and maybe even DeMarcus Cousins, who USA Basketball CEO Jerry Colangelo said had a “some growing up to do” before he’d make an Olympics roster.
Team USA’s first real commitment is the 2014 FIFA World Cup of Basketball in Spain, home of the back-to-back Olympic silver medalists and Team USA’s top rival. If the U.S. wins there, they’d lock up their spot for the Rio Games. If not, they’d be forced to qualify through a tournament during the summer of 2015.