Mike Krzyzewski looks back at his lean early years and his relationship with Bobby Knight
Dan asked Coach K his worst loss. He said a blowout loss to the Ralph Sampson-led Virginia Cavaliers in the ACC tournament many years ago because it put him on the hot seat. “There were a lot of people who wanted me fired,” Krzyzewski said.
Coach K looked back at a slow start to his coaching career. After five years he was barely above .500. He said that Duke administrator Tom Butters and other had faith in him.
Krzyzewski looked back at some of the great players he’s had. He cited Johnny Dawkins as the first high school McDonald’s All-American to sign with him. And then of course Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley, Grant Hill and Shane Battier.
Dan asked Krzyzewski about his relationship with Bobby Knight, which has been turbulent at times. “I never questioned my love for him and his love for me,” Coach K said. “I look at him more as a father figure than a big brother. Because of the authority he has.”
Coach K was happy Knight was there at Madison Square Garden last night. “My relationship with Coach is phenomenal,” Krzyzewski said. “It made the last few weeks really a lot of fun to share this.”
Coach K doesn’t want to name his successor before he leaves. “I don’t think you have a coach in waiting,” Krzyzewski said. “I don’t like that scenario, where you say someone is going to take over for you.” Coach K said it should be up to the college.
Krzyzewski weighed in on the Penn State scandal and his comments the other day that part of the issue with Joe Paterno is a generational gap. “If you look at the history of abuse in our country and how it’s been handled, it’s ridiculously different,” Coach K said. “It’s tough to figure it out. In our society there are a lot of things that have been hidden as far as sexual abuse.”
Coach K said that this scandal has shown us something about coaches. “Coaches are human beings,” he said. “They’re not better than anybody.”