‘Coach K’ Mike Krzyzewski is widely regarded as one of the greatest basketball minds of all time.
Not only has he achieved the pinnacle by winning multiple college basketball championships, but he has also earned gold at the Olympic level.
One player Coach K crossed paths with during his time at Duke was Kyrie Irving. Although they spent a limited amount of time together, they became well-acquainted. Later on they would reunite again during the 2014 FIBA World Cup games and then the 2016 Olympics.
That put Coach K in a unique position where could speak on Irving and his recent troubles from a place of authority.
“I’m in his corner,” he said of Irving during a recent appearance on the Dan Patrick Show.
“I’m in his corner”
— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) November 18, 2022
“I love Kyrie,” Coach K noted.
“I have a great relationship with him. He’s really smart and really talented, and as a result of having this exposure, his own shoe, which now, Nike has stopped their relationship, it’s a different world.
“It’s tough, unless you’re with a person all the time, to see how all that has influenced. But with me, I love him. I’m in his corner and I’m here to help him if he feels like I can help him.”
The tone surrounding Irving changed noticeably in recent days. Adam Silver’s comments about the Brooklyn Nets guard were telling. Ditto for all the dialogue coming out of league offices about Irving’s inevitable return.
Coach K’s recent words are just more evidence of that.
Alex Morgan’s outfit caused a stir.https://t.co/oQhTUOI1c0
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 18, 2022
It will be interesting to see what Irving is like when he is permitted to speak to the media again and makes his on-court return.
Will he prove Coach K and all his supporters right for having so much faith in him?
An answer one way or the other will emerge soon enough.