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Colangelo expected to return for 2012

BEIJING – Jerry Colangelo, the architect of USA Basketball’s gold-medal revival, is expected to stay on as the managing director and oversee the men’s program through the 2012 London Olympics, an NBA source said Sunday.

Moments after the United States’ 118-107 victory over Spain on Sunday, Colangelo strongly suggested he would return: “Look, continuity is important. If you’re a betting guy, you’d say, (I’m) probably going to do it. But it’s not official.”

Colangelo, 68, said he plans to make an announcement next week. His continuing in the job would be no surprise. Colangelo has been talking a lot about the future of the program, about its next steps and no one surrounding USA Basketball and the NBA expects him to walk away.

“Jerry’s coming back,” said one NBA official.

Colangelo's return to run the Olympic program could come with the broader responsibilities of a new position overseeing a possible partnership between the NBA and the NCAA. Nothing has been determined, nor agreed upon, but it seems likely that Colangelo will come back in a paid executive position. He did not draw a salary for his work as managing director of USA Basketball.

NBA commissioner David Stern has already asked Colangelo, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame, to stay on the job. What’s more, USA Basketball plans to leave its Colorado Springs, Colo., offices and build a training facility elsewhere. Glendale, Ariz., is considered the favorite. Colangelo, the longtime Phoenix Suns owner and executive, still lives there.

Several top players – including Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony – have indicated that they want to stay a part of the Olympic program through the London Games. Most believe Colangelo would make New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni, an assistant on the 2008 coaching staff, the U.S. coach for 2012. Colangelo and his son, Bryan, hired D’Antoni with the Suns when they were running that franchise.

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