Mike Krzyzewski, the all-time men’s college Division I coaching wins leader, is coming out of retirement to become the NBA’s new special adviser to basketball operations. He will be present at the league’s general managers meeting next week in Chicago, coinciding with the draft lottery and combine. The former Duke coach “will provide counsel to the league office, NBA team executives, and other leaders across the league on a host of issues related to the game,” the league said.
Krzyzewski retired after the 2021-22 season with five national championships and a slew of records, including 1,202 wins at the men’s Division I level, 13 Final Four appearances, 36 NCAA tournament trips, and 101 NCAA tournament game wins. He turned down opportunities to join the NBA as a coach multiple times during his Duke career. Krzyzewski worked with NBA players through his long stint as coach of USA Basketball’s senior men’s team, going 88-1 in that role with three Olympic gold medals, two Basketball World Cup gold medals and one gold in the FIBA AmeriCup.
The NBA said that Krzyzewski, as a preeminent coach and renowned leader who cares deeply about the game of basketball, is uniquely suited to drive discussions and offer insights about the present and future of the NBA. Krzyzewski said that this was a tremendous opportunity to deepen his connection to the NBA and participate in conversations about further strengthening the league and the game. The retired coach’s passion for basketball has never been higher, and he believes that this role will enable him to stay engaged with the sport at the highest level.