Coach K talks about winning gold in London, managing players’ egos

U.S. men’s basketball and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski joined the show to talk about winning the gold.

Dan asked Coach K why he was so excited when Chris Paul hit the big shot late against Spain in the gold-medal game.

“I knew then we were going to win,” Krzyzewski said. He said there was a lot of pressure throughout the tournament, and when that shot went in he knew they were going to get gold.

Dan asked if he was retired from Olympic coaching. “I am officially retired from Olympic coaching,” Coach K said.

Coach K said managing egos isn’t what you think. He said he has to urge players to play with the same ego they do with their parent club. “They become a little bit too humble, or they hold back a little bit,” Coach K said.

Coach K said that having a 23-and-under team has no legs for the Olympic team.

Coach K also had high praise for LeBron James: “He is so darn good. He wants the ball in clutch situations. He came through over and over and over again. … He’s as smart as anyone playing any game. This guy is brilliant. And he’s a good guy.”

Coach K also pointed to Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul as great leaders, noting there were so many guys he could point to as stepping up.

Coach K weighed in on the next Olympic coach. He said you have to be comfortable with star pro players. And he’s confident U.S. basketball chief Jerry Colangelo will figure it out. Coach K said Colangelo is the one guy you can’t do without. Dan asked about Doug Collins, and Coach K noted no one is more patriotic than Collins.