LeBron weighs in on Coach K, stops short of committing for 2016
LeBron James embraced Mike Krzyzewski's decision to coach Team USA in the 2016 Olympics, but stopped short of solidifying his own commitment for Rio.
MIAMI -- LeBron James didn't have any preconceived notions about whether Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski would return to coach Team USA in the 2016 Olympics. But now that Coach K is back, it's fine by LeBron.
"I think it's great," James said before Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday night. "What he means to USA Basketball is beyond just what we do on the court. It's what we stand for as Americans and being proud to wear the red, white and blue every time we step off the bus or go to practice or talk to the media or whatever the case may be.
"I've got the utmost respect and trust in Coach K," James said, "and whatever his decision was going to be, I think we all would support that."
As for James' own commitment to joining Team USA in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics, the Heat star stopped short of saying he's in for sure.
"First, I've got to make sure I stay healthy," James said. "If I'm fortunate enough to be healthy, I would love to represent my country again. But that's a long time from now, so we'll see."
Krzyzewski had been adamant after coaching Team USA to a second consecutive gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics that it would be his last international tournament. After a weekend visit from USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo, Krzyzewski agreed to return for the 2014 World Championships and the Rio Olympics two years later.
The decision surprised some key members of the Team USA hierarchy, as it was widely known in Olympic basketball circles that Krzyzewski's family had been urging him to step away from his international obligations. Had Krzyzewski stepped down, several people involved with Team USA strongly believed Celtics coach Doc Rivers would be chosen to replace him.
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