View Full Version : Nets want Coach K

02-12-2010, 11:13 AM
Rick Pitino is the first high-profile coach to express interest in the Nets coaching job, but they have their eyes on someone even bigger and more decorated.

“He’s the Nets’ first choice,” said an NBA source with knowledge of the organization’s thinking. “It comes down to if he wants to leave Duke and his comfortable setting and take on a new challenge.”

The Nets could also offer Krzyzewski the title of general manager. Both the coach and general manager posts, currently held by Kiki Vandeweghe, are expected to be available after the season.

Krzyzewski’s appeal is a given. He is a Hall of Fame coach, having won more than 75 percent of his games in college and three National titles. He would give the Nets’ instant credibility.

He’s also a proven recruiter, something that could come in handy this summer when the Nets need to make important sales pitches to marquee free agents with whom Krzyzewski has relationships.

Krzyzewski is the coach of the U.S. national team, and guided the 2008 group to the gold medal in the summer Olympics. Members of the team include potential upcoming free agents and Nets’ targets LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer and Amar’e Stoudemire.

The Nets could have about $25 million to use in free agency, and hope to be able to sign two maximum deals.

Krzyzewski could be a long shot to leave college, though. Three other times he had an opportunity to coach in the NBA, including in 2004 when the Lakers reportedly offered him a five-year, $40 million contract. But Krzyzewski turned them down to return to Duke.

Questions also remain because it’s not known who will be running the Nets’ next season. Team president Rod Thorn has an important meeting in Dallas this weekend with soon-to-be owner Mikhail Prokhorov.

Thorn is in the final year of his contract and hasn’t been told whether he will get an extension or new deal. His future likely will be discussed this weekend. Sources inside and outside of the organization believe Thorn will get an opportunity to continue in his current role after this season.

If Thorn is not retained, Jerry Colangelo, the head of USA basketball, could be a candidate to replace him.

Since Thorn doesn’t know his status for next season he hasn’t begun a coaching search. Some people have contacted him and he has some names in mind, but he can’t and won’t go forward on anything until he knows what his future holds.

Some coaches currently out of work that could become candidates include Jeff Van Gundy and Avery Johnson. Other coaches likely will throw their names in the ring, especially if the Nets win the NBA Draft Lottery and a chance at John Wall. That possibility as well as the appeal of coaching for an owner who is expected to spend money could give the Nets their pick of available coaches.

Pitino, the Louisville coach, reportedly has let people know in Prokhorov’s group he would be interested in coaching the Nets. But Pitino, the former coach of the Knicks and the Celtics, denied it.

“There’s not an ounce of truth to it,” Pitino told ESPN.com. “I have no interest, period I’m done with coaching professional basketball. I’ve put the professionals behind me.”

Thorn said he’s friends with Pitino and they never had any conversations about the Nets’ coaching position.


They are dumb to think that he would leave Duke. He is 50 wins away from passing Bob Knight and just recruited the best point guard he has had since Jay Williams. Also remember when the Lakers wanted him, they were in better shape than the Nets are.

02-12-2010, 11:34 AM
K didn't turn down Kobe in Los Angeles to coach Brook Lopez in New Jersey

02-12-2010, 11:48 AM
And I want Obama to be my lawyer.

Sly Guy
02-12-2010, 01:06 PM
K didn't turn down Kobe in Los Angeles to coach Brook Lopez in New Jersey