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Coach K On His Early Exit vs. Wake Forest

He’s fine now, thankfully.

Wake Forest v Duke
 DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 15: Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils directs his team against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the first half at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 15, 2022 in Durham, North Carolina. Krzyzewski did not return to the team bench after halftime and associate head coach Jon Scheyer of the Duke Blue Devils took over in the second half.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

As it turns out, fortunately Mike Krzyzewski’s halftime exit from the Wake Forest game was not overly ominous. He said he was lightheaded and concerned he might pass out. Behind the scenes, he got IV fluids while Duke began to struggle against the Demon Deacons. We’d love to know what his blood pressure was doing then.

He said this on his SiriusXM show: “I’m better. We went through a very taxing part of our season with four games in eight days, late travel, and I still prepare the same way. That day for Wake, I wasn’t feeling that good. During the game, during the first half, I got light-headed on the bench. And then as I’m walking off the court at halftime, it was the first time I stood up. I really thought I could pass out. I got to the locker room, and my medical people just gave me IVs and whatever, and I’m better. I think you get exhausted.”

Like former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Krzyzewski can create what people call a reality distortion field and part of that he creates for himself with the sense that he can bull through anything. He learned an important lesson about that in 1995 when he had to step away for most of the season.

This time? It reminded him he was 75. It was a fairly gentle reminder compared to how life tells some people, but a reminder nonetheless.

He’ll be fine for Florida State and presumably the stretch run of his final season.