Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski yesterday announced he had decided against messing with a good thing.

Krzyzewski -- who has taken the Blue Devils to the NCAA Final Four in four of the last five seasons and begins his second decade in Durham, N.C., this fall -- publicly withdrew his name from consideration for the coaching vacancy with the NBA's Boston Celtics. Krzyzewski notified Duke and Celtics officials Thursday.

"This was a really good process, with great people," Krzyzewski said by telephone from Durham. "I think I learned I should be thankful I'm doing what I'm doing where I'm doing it."

The Celtics are looking for a replacement for Jimmy Rodgers, who was fired after the Celtics were eliminated from the first round of the playoffs by the New York Knicks. On Wednesday, Krzyzewski met with Celtics President Red Auerbach and newly installed director of basketball operations Dave Gavitt in Washington. Krzyzewski went home, talked to his family, Athletic Director Tom Butters, as well as current and former players. He said none of them told him to go, but that they would understand if he left for one of sport's most famous and successful teams.

"What I said to Butters was, 'Don't perceive this as a renegotiation ploy,' " said Krzyzewski, who is close with his boss. "I don't want my contract {four-year rollover} changed and that's what happened."

A Raleigh, N.C., newspaper reported that Krzyzewski said no because of a perceived rift between Auerbach and Gavitt.

"That's absolutely false," Krzyzewski said. "That wasn't my perception."

"There is no credence to it at all," Auerbach said, according to the Associated Press. "What we did was go into a lengthy discussion about the job, what it entailed, so on and so forth. We never got down to the nitty-gritty. He {Krzyzewski} said he was going back to think about it. And if he had the interest, we were interested."

Gavitt joked about the reported rift. "I do have two complaints after a week with Red," Gavitt said. "He doesn't watch the road while talking to me while driving and he wants to eat Chinese food every meal."

Celtics assistant coach Chris Ford now seems to be the top candidate. Whoever takes over will be coaching an aging team that may have to be overhauled in the next year or two and the transition might be tumultuous. Krzyzewski said that was not a consideration.

Given the nature of their business, coaches never mean never even if they say it, but the 43-year-old Krzyzewski said he didn't imagine doing this again.

"I don't see going through the process again. Maybe never, but certainly not in the near future," he said, adding with a laugh, "unless Butters decides to get rid of me."