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How Coach K Dealt With The Lost Post-Season Last Year

It was a pretty classic Coach K move

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: NOV 22 2K Empire Classic - Georgetown v Duke
 NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 22: Duke Blue Devils hold up the Championship Trophy after winning the 2K Empire Classic college basketball game between the Duke Blue Devils and the Georgetown Hoyas on November 22, 2019 at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY.
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We’ve been listening to Coach K on JJ Redick’s podcast, The Old Man and the Three, and as always, Mike Krzyzewski is an original thinker and expresses himself very clearly.

Among other things, he talked about how many journeys he’s taken with teams (meaning seasons) and how satisfying they were, even when they didn't win championships, because they took their journey together. It was something Joseph Campbell might have appreciated.

Then Redick asked him about how he dealt with last year’s team amid the explosion of the pandemic.

Turns out that when the tournament was canceled, Krzyzewski, recognizing the blow to his team, called them during what would have been Final Four weekend and helped them walk through it. In the semis, Duke won by 25 and on Monday night, he put on a suit and tie and told them that “[n]ow you’re in the moment that you dreamed of, playing for the national championship,” he said he told his players. “Let’s go out and be National Champions.”

Two hours later, they saw a banner and a specially designed One Shining Moment and, one hopes, some closure.

It’s not the real thing but it’s something and, as Coach K said, they did it together.