Duke And Olympic Coach K loves the coachable and inquisitive LeBron, and the feeling is mutual. Here re some scary details about James' development:
The relationship between James and Krzyzewski took off in 2006. James took part in Team USA classes, which included chart study, informational videos and guest lectures. That camp, among the first signs of Team USA’s system overhaul, did not prevent a loss to Greece in the semifinals at the world championships that year. The men’s national team has not lost since.
In 2008, Krzyzewski flew to Akron, Ohio, James’s hometown, for a sit-down. He wanted to meet James’s inner circle, to see where he grew up, to understand what drove him.
One specific answer proved instructive. James told Krzyzewski he wanted to learn from his more experienced teammates, the usual collection of N.B.A. All-Stars. Krzyzewski pressed James for an example. James mentioned Jason Kidd, the veteran point guard whom James described as the best passer in the N.B.A.
As the team prepared for the Beijing Olympics that year, whenever Krzyzewski saw Kidd, he saw James close behind.
And on the defensive end:
Keith Dambrot, who coached James at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, said Krzyzewski became the college coach James never had and always wanted. Dambrot said “people get a little bit scared” of James, “a little in awe of him.”
“They’ve had to get along with him in order to keep their jobs,” Dambrot added. “But he always wanted to be coached. He wants to be told the truth. That’s what really struck me between the last Olympics and now. Coach K took one of the greatest talents in the world, maybe ever, and he got him to play defense like a guy at Duke.”
In Beijing, Krzyzewski divided leadership roles. He put James, with his deep, booming voice, in charge of the defense. James shouted out pick-and-rolls, called switches and broke down film. He knew what sets each opposing team would run — knew all of them.
OK,we knew JAmes could playsome defense. When does Coach K work his magic on Carmelo Anthony?