Basketball: Coach K gets perfect send-off with Serbia rout

Sun Aug 21, 2016 8:22pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Chris Gallagher

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - U.S. men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski ended his national team career on a high note as Team USA overpowered Serbia at the Rio Games for their third straight Olympic gold medal.

Sunday's 96-66 victory capped off the most successful coaching career in men's Olympic basketball history, with Krzyzewski becoming the first coach to lead three teams to gold.

Krzyzewski, 69, will hand the reins to San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich as he leaves Team USA after nearly 11 years and with a 24-0 record in the Olympics.

"I've been really a lucky guy, collegiately and internationally to be part of championship teams," said Krzyzewski, commonly called "Coach K."

"I'm just proud of the fact that Jerry Colangelo when he took over, he gave me an opportunity," said Krzyzewski, who modestly deflected any credit for his success and instead praised veterans like team captain Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant.

The U.S. men have long been an unstoppable force, taking gold in 15 of the 18 Olympics in which they have participated. But an embarrassing three losses and bronze at the 2004 Athens Games prompted an overhaul and the hiring of Krzyzewski by USA Basketball managing director Colangelo.

The results could not have been better.

Since he came on board in 2005 his teams have gone an incredible 88-1 with the only loss coming to Greece in the 2006 World Championships.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Basketball - Semifinal - Men's Semifinal Spain v USA - Carioca Arena 1 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 19/8/2016.   Coach Mike Krzyzewski (USA) of the USA (R) cheers his team during the game.  REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton