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Catching Up With Coach K

Mike Krzyzewski is enjoying retirement but it’s not like he’s in a rocking chair or anything.

New York Knicks v Brooklyn Nets
BROOKLYN, NY - JANUARY 28: Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets, Mike Krzyzewski, RJ Barrett #9 of the New York Knicks and Seth Curry #30 of the Brooklyn Nets pose for a photo after the game on January 28, 2023 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. 
Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Here’s a nice update on Mike Krzyzewski as he moves more fully into retirement. Now 75, about to turn 76, Coach K is still Coach K. He says he doesn’t miss coaching, but he still takes notes on games. He’s also inviting fans to donate to the Emily K Center and in turn is inviting them to watch the games with him in his office, which is probably an amazing experience and basketball education.

He says some really interesting things in this article. Here are some excerpts:

  • “I’m not trying to figure out how to attack [Syracuse coach Jim] Boeheim’s zone or somebody’s press or think of the most intricate out-of-bounds play anymore. I don’t think about any of those things, but I do think about teamwork, leadership, [and] how to have people come together.”
  • “When I retired [and when I was] thinking of retirement and talking to people, one word came up a lot was to have purpose. Purpose that when you get up in the morning, what’s your purpose?”
  • “I’ll goof with [my grandkids] a little bit, or if they’re at our house, I’d say, ‘Quin, I was watching you on defense. I don’t know why you have your hands here. You should have your hands down here.”
  • On the dog he was presented with at retirement: “We got him at 8 pounds [when he was] 8 weeks [old]. He’s 85 pounds now, and he’s a heck of an athlete, and he’s a good guy.”
  • “The youngster has to have fun in whatever he or she is doing, and they should be doing more than one thing. Don’t just play one sport [when] you’re young. Do a bunch of different things....Don’t always ask … how many points [they] scored, or did [you] win that ... [instead, ask] did [you] have fun? Did [you] play hard?” “Don’t attach your ego into what your kid is doing. That’s a big mistake.”

We miss seeing him coach because he was masterful, arguably the G.O.A.T. As much as anything though, we miss his voice and how he would cut through a lot of nonsense to get to the essentials. In a sense, he coached all of us and that was a wonderful thing to experience.