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How Coach K Learned To Coach NBA Talent

It’s a pretty impressive part of the story really

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2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup - Day Fourteen
MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 14: Kyrie A. Irving (L) of the USA and his teammate Mason Plumlee (R) embraces their head coach Mike Krzyzewski (2ndL) during the 2014 FIBA World Basketball Championship final match between USA and Serbia at Palacio de los Deportes on September 14, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.
Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

It was probably a big leap of faith for a lot of people when Coach K took the Olympic job.

It had the potential of hurting his Duke program and there was no guarantee that pro players would be happy with a college coach.

College coaches, after all, like a certain level of control that they just can’t have with NBA players.

Al McGuire used to say the he’d never coach in the pros because his players would make more money than he would and that would turn things upside down.

So it’s impressive that Coach K has done as well as he has. He lost to Greece early in his international career and is now 75-1.

One of the hallmarks of Krzyewski’s career is an ability to adapt to circumstances and players and with the talent he’s had to work with USA Basketball he’s had to change a lot.

But he’s also learned a lot which has helped with both the U.S. team and Duke as well.