Pat Forde wrote this article prior to USA winning the gold medal in men's basketball titled such:
Coach K didn't have to take this gig, which is why he should lauded for it
Wait, Coach Kredibility wasn't forced to participate in the olympics? That means that he's like oh I don't know, maybe about 100% of the other people involved in the USA olympic teams.
They introduce the United States basketball team before each game, and every time it's the same.
Roars for Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Enthusiastic cheers for the rest of the roster. Silence for coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Egads, the coach didn't get the same level of applause as two of the most skilled, exciting, charismatic, etc. players of all time? What is wrong with olympic basketball fans?
It's a long way from the collegiate love bubble of Cameron Indoor Stadium to NBA-crazy China. The idolatry Krzyzewski is accustomed to at Duke is lost in translation here.
As it is in literally every other arena in America.
A billion Chinese really don't give a damn who coaches this collection of superstars.
Nor should they, as that orang from Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back could probably coach this team to a gold medal.
Coach K's mission was to go from college basketball emperor to Olympic facilitator. From the guy with every answer to the guy with everything to lose.
Just note what Forde says here, and then read this next paragraph.
They've called this the Redeem Team, but Krzyzewski needed no redemption. His basketball legacy is secure: three national titles, Hall of Fame membership, status as the most accomplished and authoritative active coach in college basketball. He's in the thick of the debate over who is the all-time greatest college coach not named John Wooden.
So in other words, he really has nothing at all to lose.
Despite all that, the 60-year-old voluntarily stepped out of his considerable comfort zone and put his rep on the line alongside the 12 guys wearing the uniforms.
Again, he was risking NOTHING. If they didn't win the gold, everyone would say that NBA players just can't play international basketball even with the greatest coach ever in the history of sports. Or, if they won, people would say that it had a lot to do with Coach Komendable's incredible koaching.
If the U.S. does win the gold medal Sunday against Spain, the credit will go to the players, who have done everything right these Games. They'll deserve it. They've played with passion, togetherness, respect for the ability of their opponents and appreciation for what the Olympics are all about.
Krzyzewski? He'll receive some ancillary praise for his caretaker's role.
Which of the following was an ancillary reason for the US winning the gold medal:
A. Team USA being so insanely stacked that Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul, Chris Bosh, and
Darrent Deron Williams came off the bench.
B. The head coach, who had 5 college/NBA coaches working under him. The Koach who's won all of 1 NCAA national championships in the past 15 years despite consistently having teams filled to the brim with McDonalds' All-Americans.
But if the U.S. loses, repudiation will rain down on the college guy who somehow found a way to screw up a royal flush of professional talent. These days, the loser always gets killed for being out coached -- and if the loser has LeBron and Kobe, he definitely won't be the guy with lesser talent.
Or much more likely, he would dodge blame, just like he does in every year where Duke under performs. Meanwhile, Kobe and Lebron would get raked over the coals by dumb fucks like Skip Bayless who would say crazy shit like "Kobe and Lebron are holding Team USA back."
So far, so very good. The U.S. has won its seven games by an average margin of 30.3 points, and there are no signs of unhappy campers on the American roster. Hell, the All-Star subs are on their feet and cheering as much as the walk-on Dookies Krzyzewski coaches during the winter.
Ubuntu, thy name be Team USA.
And now he's 40 minutes away from joining his former mentor, Bob Knight, as the owner of three NCAA titles and one gold medal. Only a monumental collapse could stop the completion of this redemption mission.
So even Forde realizes it's harder for this team to lose than win.
When America does beat Spain on Sunday, there once again doesn't figure to be any appreciable applause for Mike Krzyzewski in Beijing. But he'll deserve it, for taking a greater risk and accepting a lesser reward.
Jeez, what's that weird ringing sound? It's getting closer. Oh shi--