Anti-Duke Manifesto-The Complete Hate

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Truly, can anyone imagine Dean Smith having done this to his long-time assistant coach Bill Guthridge? Can anyone fathom Roy Williams taking this approach? Or Tubby Smith, Tom Izzo, Jim Calhoun, John Thompson, Bob Knight, Jim Boeheim — or any other college coach?

Sound bad enough? There’s more. Just review the timeline from that revealing season. First, realize that K did not pack it in until after the twelfth game. Apparently the pain and exhaustion were bearable as the team started out with a 9 – 2 record and a top ten national ranking. The early record was accomplished in usual Krzyzewski fashion, by trouncing various cupcakes, (e.g., mighty Brown University by 42, North Carolina A & T by 43, South Carolina State by 46, Northeastern by 23, George Washington by 30, and BU by 17). It was only when he tested the waters of the forthcoming conference schedule, with a home loss to Clemson, that our hero could no longer continue. Strange how the specter of a difficult conference schedule exacerbated that exhaustion and back pain.

But the best part to this story is how Mike passed his time during those medically essential days of rest and recuperation. As he closed his mind – and his record book – to his team’s nightmarish season, Coach K somehow mustered enough strength to entertain high school recruits – in his home no less – for future seasons. For example, he had Vince Carter over for a January visit, nine days after he advised his players of his need to sign off for health reasons. The punch line later came from Carter himself. Shortly after that visit, Carter was quoted in an SI article on Duke, (published well before Carter chose UNC over Duke by the way). ‘He was up and about,’ said Carter, ‘He didn’t seem like a guy who has had all these back problems.’

And if you think this was an isolated incident, think again. The man is a champion buck passer. When I attended the school during the 1989-92 time period, Duke squeaked by in a couple of regular season games, after which there was some question about the team’s leadership and direction. Always looking for a fall guy, Coach K, in a post-game press conference, actually turned on his own student body, who, he barked, had grown complacent in its support. ‘I think we need to understand what the hell is going on here at Duke University,’ was one of the quotes. This he said of the same students who camp out for weeks for the chance to support this team with their boorish displays. It has become a recurring Krzyzewski excuse, one that he resorted to even last year as his students remained as boisterous and obnoxious as ever in their game time antics. No doubt, there is plenty for which to criticize these students, but support of the team is not one. K’s tendency to turn on his fellow vermin is a testament to his amazingly self-centered, one-dimensional mindset. And let us not forget the man’s tendency to fault game officials for unfair calls – the same officials who regularly enable his team to make more free throws in a season than their opponents are allowed to attempt – more on that later.