At his retirement press conference Thursday, Mike Krzyzewski was, well, Mike Krzyzewski. He discussed first how lucky he felt and how many people believed in him. He talked about his parents, about West Point, being in the Army, being coached by and working with Bob Knight, and most of all his family, his “ladies” - wife Mickie and three daughters - and how they have made him better.
He also made sure to clear up any questions about his health, saying that it was not a factor in his decision.
He talked too about his love for the game and Duke. We know a lot of people love Duke with all they have, but we’re not sure Duke has had many people who are more committed to the university than Krzyzewski is.
He was asked if he would be the NCAA basketball czar he has pushed for years and shot that down quickly, saying his commitment was still to Duke.
He talked also about the importance of successor Jon Scheyer being his own man and putting his own stamp on the program, saying that the assistants have already had a lot of autonomy and wouldn’t need a lot of transition anyway.
Coach K also touched on how much he’s loved coaching and the most important thing to him, the relationships he’s had with players and the people around the program.
When Barry Jacobs asked him what had changed the most during his career, he said flexibility, that he had learned to listen to other perspectives and that that had been invaluable. He also learned the importance of balance, presumably after his disastrous 1995 back injury.
He jokingly said that his advice for Scheyer would be to “not replicate my first three years.” He also said that Scheyer was “one of the smartest coaches in the country. Nobody knows that as well as I know it.”
He also made an interesting comment from his Army experience, that commanders essentially expect transitions and the whole point is continuity and that he’d follow Scheyer into battle anytime.
We’ll add links later.