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Mike Krzyzewski & Johnny Dawkins Inducted Into The Collegiate Basketball Hall Of Fame Together

Richly deserved and how cool!

Coaches vs Cancer Classic
 NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 22: Head coach Johnny Dawkins of the Stanford Cardinal hugs head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils after Duke defeated Stanford 70-59 in the championship game in the Coaches vs Cancer Classic men’s basketball tournament at Barclays Center on November 22, 2014 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.
Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images

It’s a famous story now and in retrospect seems foolish, but in the early 1980’s, Mike Krzyzewski was not popular with some Duke fans and some wanted him gone.

That didn’t happen - then-AD Tom Butters had faith in Krzyzewski and, instead of firing him, gave him an extension and things soon turned around.

But it was not an easy time for anyone around Duke Basketball. The class of 1986 was the foundational class for the Krzyzewski era and Johnny Dawkins was the most important player in that class and, arguably, the most important player in Duke history.

So it’s very fitting that Dawkins and Krzyzewski were inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame together Wednesday night (Coach K was actually in the class of 2006 but not eligible for induction until he had been retired for a year).

Coach K said this about being inducted: “What does it mean? You’ve got to be kidding me. Forget about dreams coming true, this is like incredible for this to happen.”

Given what we know about Krzyzewski now, after his long and brilliant career, it’s possible, if not likely, that Duke might not have become Duke without Dawkins. But Dawkins did choose Duke and together they worked to build one of the greatest programs in any collegiate sport.

We’re the luckiest fans in the world.