With USA Basketball and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski offering up his thoughts on the column written by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports late Sunday about the way in which the coach uses USA Basketball Thursday morning, another coach took to Twitter to voice his opinion. Kentucky head coach John Calipari, who was mentioned by Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim (he’s also an assistant on the Krzyzewski’s USA Basketball staff) earlier in the week.
With Boeheim stating that Calipari had expressed concern about the USA coaches’ access to young players and the added influence possibly gained when recruiting those players, Calipari noted Thursday that whatever concerns they may have been in the past have been addressed.
Calipari went on to state that if the advantage gained came as a result of the coaches revamping a national team program that hit a rough patch from 2002-06, he wouldn’t “begrudge them in the least.”
In the immediate aftermath of the United States rolling to the FIBA Basketball World Cup title, the discussion should have been focused on how the team won despite losing players to injury (Paul George) or other issues ahead of their trip to Spain. And at worst, maybe the concern should have been focused on what the national team would need to do in order to remain dominant and not revert to the arrogant thinking that led to the four-year stretch mentioned above.
Instead the discussion is focused on whether or not coaching the national team has provided the college coaches working with USA Basketball, but primarily Krzyzewski, an unfair advantage. Are there perks to working with possible recruits more closely during a time when such opportunities would be off-limits per NCAA rules? That can be argued. But they’re also spending time away from their current teams in order to work with players they may not even coach at the college level.
If this situation was to end up benefitting USA Basketball, then it would be worth the trouble. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to see how any of this will benefit USA basketball down the line.