Coach K's legacy isn't on the line with Team USA 

August, 3, 2009
8/03/09
11:57
AM ET
I was really pleased to see that Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski decided to coach the United States Olympic basketball team through the 2012 London Games, even though the announcement came as no great surprise to me. What did come as a surprise was all the talk about legacy.

I was an assistant coach on Krzyzewski's staff in the early 1990s when Coach K finally won his first national championship in 1991. With almost the entire roster back for the 1992 season and the expectations of back-to-back titles on the minds of everyone involved in the program, Krzyzewski seized the team's collective mindset in the very first team meeting of that season. And it changed the way I approached and looked at things.

Krzyzewski told the team he didn't consider Duke to be "defending champions." He said Duke was not "defending" anything. The 1991 national championship was won and over, and the trophy was displayed forever in Cameron Indoor Stadium. There was nothing to defend. Instead, Duke was going to "pursue" the '92 trophy for its own sake, and therefore, the 1991-92 team was a totally different team from the 1990-91 team that cut down the nets.