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Mike Krzyzewski Assisting Lakers with Coaching Search

Former Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s longstanding relationship with the Los Angeles Lakers is set to deepen. According to NBA insider Shams Charania, Krzyzewski is advising the Lakers on their head coaching search.

“Sources tell me the Lakers have leaned on Coach K, Mike Krzyzewski — the legendary Duke coach, as an unofficial resource,” Charania reported on The Rally. “He’s helping them understand how to build a coaching staff, create a culture, and establish an identity for their coaching staff moving forward.”

Since his retirement, Coach K has remained active as an ambassador for Duke University and has focused on his charity work with The V Foundation and the Emily Krzyzewski Center. Last season, he also served as a Special Adviser to Basketball Operations at the NBA. Now, he adds head coaching search consultant to his post-coaching roles.

July 23, 2012; Barcelona, SPAIN; Former Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (left) talks with guard Kobe Bryant

The leading candidates for the Lakers’ head coach position include former Duke standout JJ Redick, Sam Cassell, and James Borrego. “Obviously, he has a deep relationship with JJ Redick,” Charania continued. “He also understands the other coaching candidates.”

In 2004, the Lakers offered Krzyzewski a five-year, $40 million contract with part ownership of the franchise to replace Phil Jackson. However, he turned it down to stay at Duke. This was one of several NBA opportunities he declined, including offers from the Boston Celtics, Portland Trail Blazers, New Jersey Nets, and Minnesota Timberwolves.

It will be intriguing to see how influential Krzyzewski will be in the Lakers’ coaching decision and whether he will advocate for Redick or suggest a candidate with more coaching experience.

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