This story was posted on Reddit today about Duke’s head coach Mike Kryzewski. I thought it deserved to be highlighted for a few reasons.
First and foremost, for people outside of the university, it is often easy to forget that the people who play for and coach at Duke are humans. They have been so good for so long that most people, including myself, think of them as robots built only for basketball domination. Reading about Coach K truly showing that he cared about a random camper was endearing in a very humanizing fashion.
As well, I think Coach K deserves praise for going out of his way to make this guy feel better. Of course, he didn’t have to do anything at all, calling him in the first place was already quite special. He didn’t stop there though, personally asking him to meet him and inviting him to attend a Duke game shows that he really does care about the people that attend his camps, someone who didn’t care would not have spent that much time on a single person.
I think it is also important to mention that both Jon Scheyer and Ryan Kelly came off as really nice guys as well because they are two of the most hated Blue Devils players in their history (they aren’t quite on JJ Redick’s historic level but they are probably on the next tier down).
This story serves to remind us that while Duke can be annoying at times, we are mostly getting frustrated with their excellence. When someone is good for such a long time, at a certain point it becomes kind of grating to live through. It is similar to how Lebron basically lost himself the MVP by angering the media with the Decision and by being too good for too long. It even happened to his Airness, Michael Jordan, who somehow lost MVP races to Karl Malone and Charles Barkley.
As Batman once told us, “you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain”. Since coach K is apparently immortal, he has long since become the villain in many people’s eyes but that does not take away from the person he is. By all accounts he is a nice and charming guy, a nice and charming guy whose basketball team will crush your hope and dreams.