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Mike Krzyzewski turned down opportunities to coach Lakers, Sixers and Celtics

Jesse Reed
Feb 6, 2016; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski calls his players to the sidelines during an injury timeout in the second half of their game against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Duke Blue Devils head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski is an absolute legend who has won five national championships at the collegiate level. He’s helmed the Blue Devils basketball program since 1980, turning down multiple opportunities to coach NBA teams.

Mike Krzyzewski turned down the Lakers, Sixers and Celtics

In an interview with WIP sports radio in Philadelphia, Coach K revealed he has turned down the Los Angeles Lakers, Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics over the years.

“Two times, I was pretty interested. In 1990, when Dave Gavitt took over the Boston Celtics, I did interview with them. And in 2005, with the Lakers, at the end of the day, I didn’t do it.

“Ironically, in 1990, when I didn’t do it, the next two years, we won our first two national championships. In 2005, when I didn’t accept the offer, a few months later, Jerry Colangelo offered me the opportunity to coach the national team as the first national team (permanent) coach. I was able to do that for 11 years. I got my NBA fix, so to speak. I’m really happy I got that.”

No doubt, Duke is happy he stuck around.

Coach K loves Duke

It’s pretty obvious that Krzyzewski isn’t going anywhere. He’s been at Duke the past four decades and is still going strong at the age of 74.

“I’ve been fortunate,” Krzyzewski said. “If you’re a successful coach or businessperson, you’re going to have opportunities. When professional opportunities occurred … I love Duke, in addition to college basketball. I love working at a university environment. You’re surrounded by great people, not just in sports. It has been proven to be pretty pure. It’s getting crazy now, but that was kind of (King) to even ask.”

Hopefully Coach K will continue to lead the Duke men’s basketball program for years to come. Before the current season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Duke was 25-6 overall and 15-5 in the ACC.