Mike Krzyzewski became one of college basketball's coaching legends by being smart, aggressive and direct in his demands.
But there are times when the Duke coach is a little too turbo.
The Devils crushed Lenior-Rhyne in their final exhibition game Wednesday, 95-42. Coach K was pleased with his team's effort. Not so much with the crowd's.
"We played well, but there was something a little bit missing," Krzyzewski said. "The same thing with the crowd. We should remind all our Duke fans that we start our season on Monday and every game counts, and if you're not going to come, let us know and we'll sell the seats.
"We should not have an empty seat in Cameron," he continued. "That's the way it is. I know I can sell them. I'll go sell them. If you're not coming, I'll go sell them."
He wasn't kidding. There wasn't any humor in his voice (check out the audio here).
|Mike Krzyzewski has coached at Duke since 1980.
Maybe Krzyzewski never came down from his hectic summer of coaching Team USA. Maybe he's worried his team – which is ranked No. 8 in AP's preseason poll and returns nearly every important player from last season's 28-6 team – is going to struggle to start the season.
Or maybe he's a jerk. Criticizing fans for not attending an exhibition game? Give it a rest. Taking the time to watch Duke beat down a D-II school shouldn't be high on anyone's list of priorities.
There's no denying Krzyzewski's place among the all-time coaching greats. The man has his sights on 1,000 career wins, has won 3 NCAA titles, been to 10 Final Fours and has built Duke into perhaps the nation's most prestigious program. He's beloved by millions of Duke fans, but loathed by even more non-Duke fans. Such is the price of success.
But success doesn't mean ripping your team's fans. Especially when you know those fans will still be among college basketball's most devoted supporters.