Local News

Krzyzewski Not Only Local Coach Contacted By Lakers

Posted July 6, 2004 8:21 a.m. EDT

— Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski is No. 1 among Blue Devils fans. But he was not the only local coach to get a call from the Los Angeles Lakers.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill coach Roy Williams was contacted about being the Lakers' next coach even before Coach K was.

Williams has been called the magic cure for what has ailed the Tar Heels. The Lakers hoped he would provide some magic for them instead.

The NBA team contacted Williams two weeks ago. But, no deal. Williams told the Lakers Carolina is where he wants to be.

"It would have been tragic if we'd lost him that quickly," UNC student Kia Thacker said.

Williams did not get the full-court press Krzyzewski got because Williams did not let it go that far. In fact, the conversation never got to money.

Williams simply told the Lakers thanks, but no thanks.

"I think he and Coach K turning them down strengthens the ACC and college basketball," UNC student Glenn Young said.

College basketball fans say things now are as they should be -- Williams posted up at the Smith Center, and Coach K calling the shots at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

So, despite the lure of Hollywood, the Tobacco Road rivalry still is intact, coaches and all.

The latest contact marked the third time the Lakers have approached Williams. The first time was back in 1992.