Coach K says thanks but no thanks

Phil Jackson has yet to formally announce his plans for next season, but one of the potential candidates to replace him –if or when he ever does retire — seemed to preemtively pull himself out of the running Tuesday afternoon.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told reporters at his annual summer meeting with the local press in Durham, North Carolina that, “”I’m not going to the Lakers. They have one of the great coaches in the game. I don’t know where that rumor started, but there has been nothing done like that, and I’m not leaving Duke. Whatever you hear about anything like that, I will never leave Duke until I leave coaching.”

I know exactly where the rumor has come from. The last time Jackson left the Lakers in 2004, Coach K was Kobe Bryant’s first choice as a successor. If Jackson leaves again, you’d better believe No. 24 will have a say in who the Lakers next coach is.

For now though, Coach K sounds like he likes it in Durham just fine.

“Since the Laker thing (in 2004), to hear another rumor like that, not that it’s so bad, but I’d rather not go there at all,” Krzyzewski said. “I don’t want my Duke team – not necessarily my basketball team, but my Duke team, the community – to feel like you’re looking at other things. I’m getting ready to start my 30th year at Duke, and I don’t see the finish line yet. I know the finish line will be there sometime, but it’s not in my vision right now.”