It seems that the less interest Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski shows about heading to the NBA, the more teams want him. And there’s no team that wants him (or needs him) more than the New Jersey Nets. And rightfully so, Coach K remains the Nets’ top choice to be their next head coach.
According to Al Iannazzone of the Bergen Record, incoming billionaire owner Mikhail Prokhorov is prepared to make Krzyzewski an offer that would be difficult for even him to refuse: somewhere between $12-$15 million per season to be the Nets coach and perhaps even general manager. For someone with no professional coaching experience, that might just be too much to pass up.
If you remember, Krzyzewski turned down a five-year, $40 million offer to coach Kobe and the Lakers back in 2004. But the timing just wasn’t right. Now, with a blank slate and the keys to the kingdom in his hands, the timing couldn’t be better.
Let’s assume the following. First, Coach K wins his fourth NCAA title at Duke this evening, capping off an amazing feat that few coaches have ever achieved. Second, the Nets win the NBA Draft Lottery, giving Coach K a franchise player in either John Wall or Evan Turner. Third, if Jay-Z, Russian billionaire money, the N.Y. metro area and a new stadium weren’t enough to intrigue LeBron, there’s been nothing more thoroughly documented than LeBron’s admiration for Coach K. If he had to choose between playing for Mike Brown or him, it would be a no-brainer. Lastly, with GM duties as well, the Nets have a very promising roster full of young talent (Brook Lopez, Devin Harris, Courtney Lee and Terrence Williams), money to spend (about $23 million) and three draft picks. What more could you ask?
It’s kind of crazy to think, but the Nets could become the Yankees of basketball. (And LeBron’s appearance at Fenway Park last night was not to cheer on the Red Sox.) With tons of money to throw around, and a star power heading that way, the team needs a high-profile coach to get it done. And Coach K is that guy.
What do you think?
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