Skip to main content

Mike Krzyzewski Almost Become Head Coach Of The Lakers In 2004: "They Offered Me $40 Million To Coach The Lakers. It's Generational Wealth. I Knew Kobe. But, I Loved Duke. I'm Really Pleased That I Did Not Do That."

Fadeaway World

Fadeaway World

Mike Krzyzewski is retiring after the upcoming 2021/22 college basketball season. After spending the last 41 years with Duke University, Coach K has decided to end his career with his own last dance. 

Now that he's ready to hang the suit and go live a more relaxed life, impressive details about his career have surfaced, revealing big opportunities he had to leave the Blue Devils and go to the NBA.

Last year, appearing on JJ Redick's The Old Man and the Three podcast, the legendary coach revealed that he was close to becoming the Los Angeles Lakers new head coach in 2004 (0:40).

"[I was] closer than any other offer I ever had. ...With the Lakers, I was 57. I said, 'is there something more? I love what I'm doing, I love Duke, but is there something more? I'm not gonna be doing this forever.' They offered me $40 million to coach the Lakers. It's generational wealth. I knew Kobe. I just couldn't do it. I loved Duke. ...It was really interesting during that time but I'm really pleased that I did not do that."

After things fell apart with the Lakers, Krzyzewski was offered the chance to coach Team USA, where he was very successful. The Lakers ended up hiring Rudy Tomjanovich, who only last half of a season with the purple and gold. 

Mike won two National Championships with Duke on 2010 and 2015, increasing his legend as one of the greatest college basketball coaches of all time. 

We'll never know how things would have played out for him on the Lakers, but he's not bothered by that.