LAS VEGAS — Mike Krzyzewski thought he was done with USA Basketball. He said he was done, too.
After helping Team USA win two straight Olympic gold medals, there appeared little left for him to accomplish. After the team won in London last summer, Krzyzewski prepared to walk away.
It didn’t take long for Jerry Colangelo to know that Krzyzewski wasn’t as resolute in his stance as he made it seem. Just a couple of weeks after their triumph in London, the two reconvened in Springfield, Mass., for the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. And that’s when Colangelo, the managing director for USA Basketball, knew there was still a chance.
“He was having withdrawal already,” Colangelo said. “He started talking about the future. No commitments, but it was there.
“I didn’t have to plan it, but it was there. My attitude was, I know what he said. I know what he’s also said to me privately. I’m going to give him all the time he needs and when the timing is right, we’ll have that sit-down again. Usually when I sit down with him, there’s a good result. And it happened again and it was a positive result and I’m thankful for that.”
Ten months after Colangelo first saw that gleam return to Krzyzewski’s eye, and two months after the coach made his return official, the two men are back to work at a four-day camp that began Monday. As Krzyzewski sat down in a chair outside a meeting room at the Wynn resort with a red polo and the USA logo on the left breast, he said he spent most of Duke’s college season last year fully convinced he wouldn’t be back for a run at a third gold.