When most college fans think about Mike Krzyzewski, they think about him courtside, where, to be fair, he’s working and highly focused.
Even Duke fans - especially Duke fans - will tell you that he’s not a Teddy Bear during a game. He’s working.
It’s too bad that most basketball fans only get to see that side of him because, like anyone else, there are different sides to the man. He’s had a couple of side gigs over the years - his radio show and the USA Basketball gig.
But he’s had another too, which he doesn’t publicize, and that’s taking an interest in people, being compassionate to people who are dealing with illness or facing death. We can’t tell you how often we’ve come across stories of someone who is seriously ill who Coach K has reached out to or a family member who is deeply grateful to him for some kindness he did for a late family member. You always hear it from them, never from K.
But he’s also got a keen sense of humor. He’s funny and playful, even if his humor at times is needling. It’s all good-natured.
So it didn't really surprise us to learn that he called into Jim Boeheim’s radio show as “Mike from Durham” to rag on his buddy before Duke visits this weekend. It’s a fun call between friends. We don’t know if Syracuse fans are as kindly disposed to Coach K as Boeheim is but it’s nice to see the connection between those two.