Posted: 2:11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013
The coolest things about this story is not that Coach K met with NCAA Jefe Mark Emmert, but that Emmert came to Durham to do it.
He also met with A.D. Kevin White and President Brodhead, but you get the sense that he came to Durham as much for Krzyzewski as anything else. Although White is a widely respected figure who might have drawn a visit on his own, we’ve never gotten the sense that Brodhead, despite his highly visible fandom, is overly interested in athletic reform.
K, who has said a number of provocative things about his sport and college athletics in general, no doubt got to make a pitch for one his favorite ideas, that of a commissioner for college basketball, someone with vision who can help steer the game (if Emmert is smart, he will have asked K if he was interested in the job).
He had a number of interesting things to say about the NCAA and change here, not least of all this:
“We need to have a clear head and say, this is going to be right. And we have a good chance to get everybody on board. Many times when you lose, it’s the greatest opportunity to improve.“You have this unique opportunity to make dramatic change that you probably couldn’t make when things seem to be going right. And so I look at this as a very exciting time.”
And in a different vein, this: “Each year I coach, I try to adapt to the people I’m coaching. I’m 66 years old right now. Look, I’m coaching kids that are 18 to 22. I’m 48 years older. I can’t even imagine that. So, how do you talk to them? How do you motivate them? How do you get into their world? It takes a little bit of effort. Every once in a while I text them, I try to find out what current songs are.
“You have to stay up with them because you get your street cred. In my world, I have to work on street cred because I’m an older guy, and when they come they might think I’m a statue in front of Cameron. ‘Yeah, he’s the guy that they publicize, but does he really coach?’ Somehow you have to be human with them.”