Coach K had some stirring words about John Thompson Monday, saying this in a statement:
“Our hearts are filled with sorrow and pain with the loss of the great John Thompson Jr. No one had a larger impact on college basketball. John built a program at Georgetown that was second to none. He was an incredibly strong person who always put his players first and fought for them at every turn. Repeatedly, I was amazed at his passion for doing what is right, even when unpopular and no one was looking. Given his record of success and dedicated advocacy for college basketball and other social issues, John was a one-of-a-kind leader and an absolute treasure. He was a Hall of Fame coach, an outstanding mentor to so many, and on a more personal level, a great friend. I loved him, admired him, and will miss him dearly.”
For his part, John Feinstein quoted Thompson as saying he’d have liked to have disliked Coach K as he was Dean Smith’s rival but he found it very difficult.