Most of Peter Vescey’s colleagues have spent Sunday writing about who is more or less likely to take the Laker job ; Phil Jackson, Pat Riley or Larry Brown. In Phil’s case, Dr. Jerry Buss is said to be less than thrilled at pairing Jackson with Kobe Bryant a 2nd time, and Pat Riley already turned down an LA overture during the offseason. Larry Brown, with one foot out the door in Detroit and property in Malibu, seems like the most probable candidate. The NY Post’s Vescey, however, offers a less than sterling endorsement (along with trashing Greg Popovish in the process) and makes a bold new suggestion for the U.S. Olympic Team.

LeBron James and Amare Stoudemire sure must have learned a lot practicing for Larry Brown; something James outright denied earlier this season, by the way. The Cavaliers and Suns should be grateful to him for enabling them to stay fresh for this season.

Obviously, Brown didn’t like (or appreciate) a lot of what he saw from James and Stoudemire (Emeka Okafor and others) during their month together.

ou almost can’t blame James for pouting himself into a corner. Recklessly critical, insensitive coaches (and teachers!!!) often squelch the enthusiasm and confidence of highly motivated players (students) with one careless, caustic comment.

I remember reading about a play last summer in which James dove for a loose ball and someone praised him for his great hustle.

“When you’re his age you’re supposed to dive on the floor,” Brown grumped unfavorably rather than simply seconding the compliment.

This next incident wasn’t recorded. Sources say one day James missed a 3-point jumper in an exhibition or practice, I’m unsure which one.

“You shouldn’t be taking shots that far out,” Brown scolded. “You can’t shoot.”

Yeah, that’s the kinds of inspiring stuff players love to hear from coaches at all levels. By all means, accentuate the negative and downplay the positive. In the starkness of such distrust, underscored by escaping blame at all costs for the assemblage and pointing crooked little fingers in all directions but the mirror, is any wonder Team USA failed to measure up in Athens? Is it any wonder Ben Wallace and Rip Hamilton wanted to get away from such negativity from the summer?

Can there be a more competent candidate for U.S. Olympic team coach than Mike Krzyzewski? The way I hear it, he’d love to have the job.

Who cares if a professional has piloted Team USA since NBA players began to participate in ’92? After finishing sixth and third in the last two international competitions seems to me nothing should be written in granite.

If Krzyzewski were appealing enough to be recruited by the Lakers, Celtics, Sixers and numerous other NBA outfits I assume he’s good enough to coach our country’s Olympic team.

In light of Kryzewski’s most recent health scare (following years of chronic back trouble), I’m not sure why the Duke mastermind would want more pressure in his life. Perhaps it is time for USA Basketball to consider hiring someone to do the job full-time rather than reward a particular era’s most accomplished pro or college coach? In the case of international soccer, the most successful coaches at club level are often prime targets, but taking the reigns of a national side isn’t considered a summer sideline