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Jim Boeheim on the “fantasy world” of USA men’s basketball

Despite coaching NBA players, Coach Boeheim thinks there’s no comparison to USA men’s basketball

Basketball: USA Basketball Team Training Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim is returning from Rio with an Olympic gold medal and, likely, an excitement to get back to styles of cuisine that he actually enjoys.

Boeheim told ESPN’s Marc Stein how he feels about the experience that he and Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski shared while in Brazil.

“We're very grateful that we've had this opportunity," said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, Krzyzewski's longtime rival from the college ranks and trusty assistant with Team USA.

"I can share that we feel very fortunate. He's very fortunate to have been at Duke for so long; I'm very fortunate to have been at Syracuse for so long. And we've been very fortunate together to be a part of this team with these players."

While you might think that for guys like Coach K and Boeheim, both longstanding college coaches at successfully programs, the USA men’s team allows them to “scratch an itch” for coaching in the NBA, Boeheim doesn’t see the two as equal.

“This is the best.”

"This is getting the NBA players without agents, without anybody else telling them what they should do, with them willing to do exactly what we have to do to win. So it's really not coaching in the NBA. It's not even close. We know that. This is fantasy world.”

So essentially, Boeheim likes getting the perks of NBA coaching (working with the best basketball talent in the world) with none of the responsibilities outside the actual game itself. Which makes total sense, because coaches often do itch to coach that level of talent, but don’t make the jump because of many of the other duties that come with it.

It’s quite likely that Boeheim is hanging up his whistle on Olympics coaching, but don’t completely count him out until we’re closer to 2020. Until then, the focus shifts back to the college game.