Krzyzewski: Nyet to Nets
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told ESPN.com Monday morning that "I wouldn't have any interest in the job," even if incoming New Jersey Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov offers to make him the highest-paid coach in the NBA.
I wouldn't have any interest in the job. You would be flattered if someone would offer you a job, but I would not be interested.” -- Mike Krzyzewski
The Bergen (N.J.) Record reported Monday that Prokhorov, despite Krzyzewski's earlier public expressions of disinterest, has continued to target Coach K as his No. 1 choice to coach the Nets once the NBA's board of governors approves his purchase of the majority ownership of the franchise from Bruce Ratner.
Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson is currently the NBA's highest-paid coach with a $12 million salary, and the Record said Prokhorov might be willing to offer Krzyzewski in the range of $12 million to $15 million annually.
"I haven't been contacted," Krzyzewski said as he rode the team bus to Duke's shootaround in preparation for Monday night's NCAA championship game against Butler in Indianapolis. "I wouldn't have any interest in the job. You would be flattered if someone would offer you a job, but I would not be interested."
Krzyzewski strongly considered jumping from Duke to the NBA in 2004 when he was offered the head-coaching position with the Lakers, but he has maintained in the years since that he is now totally committed to Duke and to USA Basketball, where he has signed to coach the U.S. senior men's national team through the 2012 Olympics.
Coach K reiterated at his news conference Sunday in Indianapolis that he plans to stay at Duke even after he retires from coaching.
"I haven't changed in that regard," Krzyzewski said Monday, adding of the Lakers opportunity in 2004: "The Lakers thing, with their franchise and my history with Kobe, if you were going to do it, I don't know how you can jump for anything better than that."
Chris Sheridan covers the NBA for ESPN.com.