The Norman Transcript

Sports

July 23, 2013

Coach K returns to seek third straight gold medal as USA basketball head coach

(Continued)

LAS VEGAS —

“It’s a matter of getting acquainted, observing, trying to come up with some observation of does a guy fit,” Colangelo said. “Does he not fit? I’m talking about our culture. Usually people eliminate themselves. We don’t cut people.”

We don’t do that.” We’ll have much more definitive opinions on players and attitudes and character at the end of this week, which will go into the pipeline as it relates to watching them in the NBA season next year.”

No roster decisions will be made this week, and they are still holding out hope that some of the younger players from London — Kevin Durant, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Love, among others — will decide to play in Spain next year. But Krzyzewski will also use the time to get acquainted with new assistants Tom Thibodeau and Monty Williams and teach the young players about what is expected of them in this program.

“People want to be with USA Basketball. They should,” Krzyzewski said. “But for a while there, they didn’t. It enjoys now, primarily because of Jerry’s leadership, a really high status, which we need to maintain. You’re not just given that status. You have to earn it.”

Krzyzewski certainly deserves plenty of credit, as well. He’s among the most respected names in coaching, and his decision to get involved in the first place, and stay involved for three tours, has underlined the importance USA Basketball has in the hoops landscape.

“What it says about him is he could’ve sat back and said, ‘I won the two gold medals and I’ve done my thing,”’ Colangelo said. “But he’s a competitive guy. He has set himself apart from everyone already in terms of coaching. But he’s still willing to put himself out there on the plank. And I love that.”

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Follow Jon Krawczynski on Twitter: http://twitter.com/APKrawczynski

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