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Is Coach K to L.A. Such a Bad Idea?

MACAU, CHINA - JULY 31:  Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski of the USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team walks during the USA Basketball International Challenge exhibition game against the Turkey National Team at the Coati Strip Cotai Arena July 31, 2008 in Macau, China.  (Photo by MN Chan/Getty Images)
Daniel PriceContributor IJuly 1, 2009

For those of you that enjoy this read, please visit my Web site, The Atlantic Coast Constant, at www.acconstant.com.

Duke fans out there. You won't like what you're about to read.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski—your beloved Coach K—needs to get out of Dodge...er um, Durham. You all know he's not. He said so.

But in all seriousness, it is time for him to move on.

In his heyday, he couldn't be beaten. Heck, he beat the teams that couldn't be beaten (UNLV '91). And no, I'm not going to say the game has passed him by (I will come close, though), or he will never compete with the 2005 and 2009 NCAA champions down the road again.

He will.

But from a logistical point of view, Krzyzewski heading off to L.A.—ifPhil Jackson leaves the Lakers—is the best decision the three-time March Madness master could make.

Let's take a look at the factors.


Recent success, or lack thereof ... and reasons for it

It's been a long time since we've seen Bob Knight's pride and joy in April. Since then, the Williams boys (Gary and Roy) of the ACC have cut the nets down three times combined.

Krzyzewski's ACC Tournament prowess hasn't diminished—his squads have taken three of the last five, including one this past March—but it seems (at least to this observer) that the conference crown has almost become the ultimate goal the past few seasons.

His guard-heavy, short-benched, five-star recruit-filled lineups have all but collapsed in NCAA play since the 2001 national championship. A lack of any real post presence has gone from a tough matchup to one that is exploited by any team with a semi-legit hoss in the paint.

Point to this year's recruiting class if you want, but as far as I'm concerned, it's more of the same: post players that want to be wings and lack polished games down low.

You see Mason Plumlee, I see Shavlik Randolph. Your Ryan Kelly is my Josh McRoberts.

Maybe I'm wrong. For Krzyzewski's sake, I hope I am.

With his eight-year Final Four drought, you wouldn't think he'd be valued as highly as he was fresh off of his third title. But he is, which brings us to the second reason he should bolt.


The money is better than he is

First, let me point out that the money is better than anyone is. But with his gold medal-winning, Team USA-redeeming summer in 2008, the stock of a top-tier coach that may be heading for tier No. 2 is as high as it could ever be.

His Duke paycheck is by no means small potatoes, but there aren't enough spuds in Idaho and Ireland combined to even start comprehending the kind of money Krzyzewski would get as Jackson's replacement. And (I gotta say it) in today's economy, even the well off have to have an "all about the Benjamins" mindset.

With the cash he likely would have trucked to his door in L.A., Coach K could finally help "Irish" Terry Conklin eradicate homelessness in America ... and the United States, as well.

It actually surprises me that Krzyzewski shot down the rumors so quickly. He could have made a killing by staying at Duke, too. He's done it before.

And the final reason Krzyzewski should be the next Lakers coach...


Larry Brown can't be the only NCAA and NBA champion coach

Despite Shaq running to Cleveland and Vinsanity heading home to Florida, the Lake Show has as good of a chance as any team to win it all next year. They do still have No. 24, right?

And don't tell me it wouldn't bring a little smile to your face, Duke fans, to see Krzyzewski become the second coach to take college and pro titles, a task currently only performed by UNC alum Larry Brown (KU '88, Pistons 2004).

So, Mr. Krzyzewski, if you're reading this, think about it. Really.

I mean, could you imagine how amazing your AmEx and State Farm commercials would be with Hollywood a hop, skip, and jump away?

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