With Mike Krzyzewski stepping down as USA Basketball coach, the top reported candidates to replace him include Doc Rivers and Gregg Popovich. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)
Mike Krzyzewski has said he will step down after Team USA won its second consecutive Olympic gold medal with him leading the way as head coach. And it appears that Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers and Gregg Popovich are two leading candidates to replace Krzyzewski on the bench, ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported Sunday. From Stein's report:
Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com that Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers and San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich have indeed already moved to the top of the list to take over in 2013 for Krzyzewski, who is expected to remain with the program as a top aide to Colangelo if he can't be convinced to extend his coaching tenure.
Sources say Louisville coach Rick Pitino has also expressed strong interest in the position, but the general expectation in USAB circles is that Krzyzewski will be succeeded by an NBA coach.
Nevertheless, program chairman Jerry Colangelo and USA players plan to try to convince Krzyzewski to stick around for one more shot.
"I'm sure we can get him to come back," Kevin Durant told Stein. But Colangelo wasn't as optimistic.
"Chances are not," he said. But we'll have to have that conversation on an official basis. He's said this is it and I'll respect his choice. But knowing me as I know me, I'll have that conversation and we'll see."