Mike Krzyzewski on the U.S. Olympic Basketball Team

Duke University’s decorated basketball coach reveals his different managerial methods for Team USA, a squad made up of the NBA’s best
Illustration by Jimmy Turrell

I was an assistant to [“Dream Team” coach] Chuck Daly in 1992. At the first coaches’ meeting, Chuck looked at us and said, “You have to do one thing really well: Ignore. You’re not going to micromanage. These guys know their pace. Don’t mess it up.” He was right. This was the best of the NBA. I learned not to overcoach. In college, you have to talk more, but these guys got it right away. The Dream Team was going to win. In 2008, [when] I’d been coaching the USA team for two years, we weren’t so good that it didn’t matter. Guys like Dirk Nowitzki and Manu Ginóbili were some of the top players in the game and didn’t have USA on their jersey. I knew we had to bond as a group.

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