PHOENIX (Olympics/2010 FIBA World Championship) – Jerry Colangelo came up with a winning formula when he was named managing director for Team USA’s men’s team in 2005.
He enlisted the services of numerous coaches, and gained commitments from leading players to represent the United States in international competition.
Duke University’s legendary boss Mike ‘Coach K’ Krzyzewski was appointed head coach of the men’s team and this summer, Colangelo was on hand as the USA went undefeated and captured the gold medal at the Olympics in Beijing after a thrilling title showdown with world champions Spain.
Colangelo has since been made chairman of USA Basketball, and he gave this interview to Jeff Taylor on behalf of FIBA.
FIBA: Mr Colangelo, what is the immediate future of the senior national team? Tell us when the squad of players will be announced, and also when the announcement will be about the coach of that team as Mike Krzyzewski was uncertain after the Olympics if he would continue to lead the USA.
Colangelo: First of all, everything was put on hold. The one big piece of information that has happened since the end of the Olympics is that I was serving as managing director of the men’s team. I’m now serving in the capacity as chairman of USA Basketball. That involves all of the teams: men, women, juniors. But I will continue with my direct involvement (with the senior USA men’s team), although I don’t know if I will keep the title. I don’t think we’ll have managing director. But I’ll be responsible for the men’s team because that’s the passion. Coach K and I have not even had that conversation.
We plan to meet sometime probably within the next month. We do not have anything we need to do except to get ready for the (FIBA) World Championship in 2010. So there is no requirement for us in ’09 (FIBA Americas Championship) to do anything unless we choose to. So there is no immediate urgency of naming players, or coaches or anything like that.
One of the things that I’m thinking about is having a trial for some of the best young players in the game here in the summer from which we’ll take maybe the top four or five and add them to our mix and see if some of them might be able to make our team, depending on how many of our veterans are interested in coming back. I think we have a good pipeline started. I think it’s a matter of servicing that pipeline.