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Rivers may have edge over Pop for Team USA coaching job

The search for the next head coach of the USA men’s basketball team has unofficially been narrowed down to two candidates. The popular opinion is that the job will go to either the San Antonio Spurs’ Gregg Popovich or the Boston Celtics’ Doc Rivers.

Either of the two would be a great pick. Their resumes and reputations speak for themselves. If you have to give an edge to one purely based on accomplishments, I’d have to go with Coach Pop.

But that might not be enough.

Whether it’s because of a sour relationship between Pop and USA Basketball president Jerry Colangelo or just because Colangelo thinks Rivers might be a better fit, sources are saying that the edge goes to Doc.

Don’t expect any decision to be made soon, though. Colangelo has said he’ll probably wait until the summer to pick who will replace former head coach Mike Krzyzewski. Team USA basketball doesn’t have a big competition until the Basketball World Cup in 2014.

I already said that based on resume I would take Coach Pop. However, taking a totally unbiased look at things, I’d have to go with Rivers. I think Gregg Popovich is incredible, and honestly the best basketball coach in the world right now, but I also believe that the basketball team that represents our country needs to have a “friendlier” face put on it.

I know that sounds a little superficial and probably a little naïve as well, but international basketball is more than just a competition, it’s about representing our country. I think that Doc Rivers is a better ambassador for the United States than Gregg Popovich. I’m not sure foreign reporters would find Coach Pop’s dry wit and sarcasm as endearing as we do.

Let’s be honest though, no matter which coach takes the reins of that team, they’re going to win. The American basketball team is just too talented right now. So it comes down to personal relationships. Unfortunately for Pop, that edge goes to Doc.

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