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Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 at 8:24 am  |  34 responses

Doc Rivers, Gregg Popovich Top Candidates to Coach Team USA


If Mike Krzyzewski keeps his word and steps down as head coach of Team USA, two potential candidates for the 2016 Games are already on USA Basketball director Jerry Colangelo’s radar: Celtics coach Doc Rivers and Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. Louisville’s Rick Pitino is also in the mix, but at this point, he may be a longshot. More details, via ESPN.com: “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.” 

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  • dupelupe

    Pop is the best coach in the league and way better than Doc, but it will and probably should be Doc. Younger, blacker, and the guys seem to like him more (plus he was over in London lobbying for the job for the last month). Or we could use them both (PoppaDoc)

  • Heals

    I dunno dl why not go with TyCorbin then, he’s younger than Doc and “blacker” too…

  • Michelle

    @Dupelupe, the players consider Pop a legend though..

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    What does being “blacker” have to do with anything? Coach K is white as snow and the players loved him.

  • NBA Guru

    Both coaches are well suited for the position, and command a lot of respect for their achievements. Doc’s methods and playing style will make USA defense wicked good, but I’d lean towards Pop myself..I think he knows how to get more out of his players. He is a legend…

  • Scot Peirson

    It’s Pop. Doc might be the most overrated coach in the L. He wins one title with KG, Allen, and P-Squared; but they squandered winning at least one more because of having to play extra playoff games. Pop certainly has coached enough international players in San Antonio to understand that game.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    Mike Brown doesn’t even get a mention. Outrage!

  • http://thahiphopcorner.com Kevin

    Please choose Popovich. I cant wait to see Coach Pop rest all the starters during the middle of group play

  • Steve

    Doc is a players coach and he has a great personality unlike Pop. Pops players love him but I am not sure about the rest of the league. Pop has been a winner but I could win with the teams he has had. Doc is the perfect choice to take the batton from Coach K. (can’t spell his name)

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    It depends on the team, but I’d go with Mike D’Antoni.
    Not joking.
    SSOL would work well in international play with most our guys. If it is an athletic shooting group anyway, Mikey D. for the job.
    Although he carries too much baggage and I don’t know if he was all that impressive to Jerry as an assistant.

  • Drig

    @Kevin…….that is what made me go for Pop in the end too. Nothing would baffle everyone than Pop doing that and the interviews following the game would be hilarious…

  • dupelupe

    I agree that Pop SHOULD be the choice, but when you are talking about 4 years from now, I doubt he will be interested. He is the better coach, but the players tend to “like” Doc better, I believe at least. You have to remember, these are basketball players not necessarily logical people. Its like everybody running to the L faster so they can get a few bucks. Most of them should have stayed in college and learned the game, then have a more productive (and longer) NBA career. But that isn’t how this generation thinks. They would rather get a few bucks and be a bench rider than get a degree, possible NCAA title, retired jersey, learn to manage their money and ego better, enjoy college yet mature as a young man, etc. That’s why they would rather play for Doc than a legend.

  • dupelupe

    @JTaylor21 – I don’t know, been trying to figure that out for YEARS! But the reality is, it does. People go around who they are most comfortable with, and tend to associate better with them. Remember, these guys are YOUNG! I think the true students of the game would love to sit down with Pop and discuss basketball (or Wooden, Dean Smith, Sloan, Phil, etc.), but when you are talking about going to Rid de Janeiro and playing a few Olympic games..I think the guys would rather play for Doc. I mean, how many big name free agents flock to S.A.?

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    Pops press confs and interviews would be hilarious. I could see him sending love to hack pau at the start of a game just for fun. And jebus help us all if usa plays france, what would pop do? Would tony suddenly be sick that day?
    Pop would have the team crushing people by 50. Then large amounts of anthony davis. Davis would absorb so much defensive knowledge.

  • http://thahiphopcorner.com Kevin

    I could just see Popovich going over and strangling the French coach because he had Tony Parker on the floor during a 30 point USA win

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Yeah, because skipping four years of college is really going to impact the career longevity of Durant, LeBron, Dwight, Wade and Westbrook. Chris Paul too.
    And obviously, Kobe, McGrady, Garnett and O’Neal suffered for not going to college. Deshawn Stevenson too.
    Ridiculous.
    There is no proof that staying longer in college means you will have a longer career. In fact, all the evidence points to the opposite, mainly because the cats who leave early are typically the most talented and therefore have the longest careers.
    Hell, Kwame has been getting NBA money for a decade. He might not have made the League if he went to college.

  • RJ

    I’d go with G-Pop. Heh as that military background like my N Mike K.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    Evidently, you guys haven’t read Shock Exchange Expose’ Book. He breaks it down like a CP3-led fast break.

  • whooo!

    Pop is an obvious top choice for consideration at least, but I’ve read that there’s no chance in hell Colangelo rewards Pop with the position… Anyone else heard similar?

  • bike

    I’d vote for Calipari. He is coaching nba-ready players at the college level and knows how to immediatly win with ulta talent that hasn’t played together before.
    And if push comes to shove, he can cheat with the best of ‘em.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    When usa plays france, why always boris will ignore the french coach and submit to pops ruthless ,ugh, wine conversations?

  • Papa Smurf

    Let’s make things interesting and get Isiah Thomas. And make Rasheed Wallace an assistant.

  • dupelupe

    @ AllenP – whatever you do, stay away from debates. You would get fried! I mentioned players who ride the bench (or, I suppose, marginal NBA players), and you go and mention half of the Olympic team. That is why I suggest staying away from debates. You have to take what one person says and respond to it, or use it against them (see 8mile). I am talking about players like Donte Green, Andray Blatche, Gerald Green, Willie Warren, BJ Mullens, Kousta Koufas, Sebastian Telfair, Johnny Flynn, Marcus Williams, DeShawn Stevenson, Robert Swift, DeSagana Diop, Ndudi Ebi, Martell Webster, Darius Miles, Stromile Swift, Korleone Young, DaJuan Wagner, Daniel Orton, Jonathon Bender, Marquis Teague, Eddy Curry, Tyson Chandler, Kwame Brown, Josh Selby, Darrell Authur, Jerryd Bayless, Lance Stephenson, Leon Smith, James Lang, Jeremy Tyler, and of courst Corey Hightower. That’s just off the top of my head. While some of these guys have had decent NBA careers (at best), they have come nowhere close to their potential. So, thanks for playing, but you lose. Terribly in this instance. Hammer, meet nail.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    ^You gotta love his fire

  • http://bulls.com airs

    *sits back, eats popcorn*

  • http://thahiphopcorner.com Kevin

    Welp this might be good. *Pulls up a seat next to airs*

  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/22/mark-cuban-skip-bayless-first-take-lebron_n_1619209.html albie1kenobi

    I’m all for Pops getting the spot, his game management is always on point, he’s got all the credentials, and he’s arguably the best coach the past decade, not to mention he’s gonna give such smart ass answers to stupid reporters.
    BUT i don’t see him taking the job. he’s way too low key to want to deal with a bunch of stars and that additional LONG TERM commitment. he’s famously said that he’ll retire the same day that duncan retires.
    —–
    good luck to you dupelupe, you must not have been around here, ever. you are picking a fight that you aren’t gonna win.

  • http://facebook Ngaz#6

    man Doc ios rubbish ditch him pop, well hmmmm idk about him but i defintly think coach K should deffs consider one more olympics he is the greatest and players have never ending love for him, it aint about black or white its about who can take a group of the most talented players on this earth and create the most talented team and i think coach K needs to stay and let Doc be his assitant so he can learn the art of coaching…..

  • Sarah

    Doc’s great but it should be Pop. I just have a feeling, with Jerry Colangelo running the show, Pop will probably get screwed.

  • Juicy

    THIBS!!!!

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    Dupelupe looks like a valid argument, go ahead and take shady off that list tho. He stayed for a bit, got a title, and has played well, injured early last year. Look out for him, speights, zbo, and marc to own shtt.

  • SeanMagicJuan

    No love for Spoelstra?

  • steve

    Dupelupe with the smack! haha dang he owned that one. Classic classic!

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I didn’t even see this Steve. Thanks for the heads up.
    Dupe Lupe’s argument is poor.
    He says it’s not fair to name players he didn’t mention who skppped college and still did well. Then he names a whole bunch of players who left early and were crap in the NBA.
    Don’t you see the obvious problem with that argument? If I went down the list of players who stayed four years and couldn’t make it in the NBA do you think it would be longer or shorter than DupeLupe’s list?
    Most players who stay four years can’t even get a tryout. Staying longer in college has never been proven to make players more prepared for the NBA. Some players need it, others don’t. The entire USA basketball team and most of the All-Star teams in the NBA for the past decade have included more players who left school early than those who stayed four years.

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