Mike Krzyzewski will coach Team USA again in 2016, Cavs rookie Kyrie Irving said following Monday's 109-100 loss to the Utah Jazz. As a result, the coach will be reunited with his former star point guard.
Irving was born in Australia, giving him dual citizenship and the opportunity to play with the Aussies this summer. But he bypassed the opportunity to play with Australia in order to play for Krzyzewski again in four years.
"It was the right decision,” Irving said Monday. “I found out Coach K would be coaching in 2016. It made my decision so much easier to play for my coach again. That was the deciding factor.”
The Americans won gold under Krzyzewski four years ago in China and are poised to repeat with another loaded roster this summer in London. Krzyzewski has not publicly committed to coaching the Americans again in four more years and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich's name was floated in January as a possible replacement should Krzyzewski, who passed Bob Knight this season as the all-time wins leader in college basketball history, decide to step down. According to Irving, that doesn't sound likely.
Irving stands a good chance to be added to the Americans' Olympic team in four years. If the Olympics were held next year instead of this summer, Krzyzewski would've made a strong push to have Irving added to the candidate pool, a source close to Duke's athletic department told the Beacon Journal two weeks ago.
Irving played just 11 games for Krzyzewski last season because of a toe injury. The Olympics just might give him the chance to play a few more.