the passion of st. kjyzwzycrwcywrzcksy

6/27/06

Oh, Koach K. Even deep in the off-off-season such as now, you still manage to deliver us the laughs. I’ll try to make this entry as interesting as possible to non-basketball fans, because Koach K’s recent spate of media interviews has read like a Please Don’t Do This handbook for anyone looking to change their public persona. Krzyzewski giving a mean-spirited lecture to reporters on how Dook has an image problem? Money can’t buy that kind of entertainment!

The Rohrs sent me this article from the Herald-Sun, which resets the bar for professional whining. In it, he wonders aloud why it’s okay for John Edwards to say “I hate Duke” (Edwards actually said he “hated Duke basketball”) and why vitriol usually reserved for opposing fans has made its way into the mainstream media.

Well, let’s stop right there. Edwards “hates Duke” because he went to Carolina, the same reason Giuliani hated the Mets, even when he was the mayor of all New York City. We all have our allegiances, and that was his. But Koach K fails to mention that he used his influence as Dook coach – as well as the stadium – to raise money for Republicans looking to defeat Edwards, so really, anyone could ask “why does Duke hate John Edwards?”

Of course, that leaves the million-dollar question: why do people hate Dook so much? K tried to situate himself beyond reproach, delivering his press conference from the Emily Krzyzewski Family Life Center and mentioning his work with the V Foundation, but really, where do you start?

Hell, you don’t have to look very hard to figure out why there’s so much opprobrium – a simple Google search will suffice. I wrote two manifestos myself, at the age of 21 and again at 39, and GFWD’s old RA Brian may have the ultimate compendium here. Picking just one offense would be too hard, and every college basketball fan has their own pet Dook Hatred moment.

But let’s go with the most recent episode, where Gerald Henderson assaulted Tyler Hansbrough at the end of the last game of the regular season, breaking his nose for the ACC Tournament and spattering blood all over the court. There are about fifteen people left who still believe it was totally inadvertent, and they all live in Durham. No matter what your belief, however, it was a deeply ugly incident and Koach could have marched over to UNC’s locker room and apologized for the way it played out, even while maintaining innocence.

Instead, he praised Gerald Henderson and hinted that Tyler deserved it because Roy left him in the game when they were up 12 points. It was the move of a practiced asshole, and every sports commentator spent a week raking K over the coals.

And now, at his press conference Sunday, he could have softened his rhetoric under the guise of “Duke’s new public image,” but instead, sounded as obstreperous as ever.

In fact, he’s pissed off about the crap he got for the Amex commercial that ran ad nauseum during the 2006 tournament, because Roy Williams didn’t get any shit for his Coke commercials this year. Well, Koach K, actually you were in a frickin’ Pontiac commercial too, but moreover, your Amex ads were sanctimonious, self-aggrandizing muses on sportsmanship and relationships that, frankly, rang immeasurably hollow to anyone who has seen you in action. Roy Williams held a Coke and told a true story about his mom. What did you expect?

The most hilarious thing is that Koach thinks he can fix this situation by having his players respond more aggressively to criticism and getting into the fray more, and getting Duke’s message “out there” more, rather than “shrugging it off.” Only a true narcissist believes that the solution to all your problems is showing more of yourself.

Another trick he uses is what I call “inward dissembling,” when you pretend to take a good look at yourself and still come away blaming everyone else. “I always think that the first people you investigate are you,” he says, “Are you being arrogant? What are you doing?” Which is fine, except that he immediately turned the conversation back to the media and, I guess, blogs, saying that nobody is being held accountable for their opinions.

I know inward dissembling well, as I have been one of its worst violators. I spent years pretending to take a fearless moral inventory of my own behavior, only to remain convinced I was always right. I’m sure some of it has spilled onto these pages over the last five years, but these days I do try to take criticism seriously, and make amends to people I’ve wronged. The comparison is deeply flawed, but Krzyzewski could likewise curry unbelievable good will just by speaking publicly about Tyler, Pete Gaudet, whatever… but he doesn’t seem wired for that kind of contrition. Even mentioning it just pisses him off.

Koach K shares a fatal flaw with other narcissists: despite all their behavior, they need to be liked. It has to be exhausting, because their elements are always at odds. He could have all the press conferences at the Family Life Center he wants, but it can’t cloud the fact that he is who he is.

Everyone’s legacy – especially those of college coaches – is an equal mixture of the behavior you exhibit in the heat of the moment, and the behavior you build over the decades. Both offer warped glimpses into a person, and K has a long list of both. You can’t trade one for the other, nor expect anyone else to treat those two impostors just the same. When you’re as tightly-wound as Koach K, it’s all about control, and his biggest fear might be that his entire body of work may soon speak for itself.

0 thoughts on “the passion of st. kjyzwzycrwcywrzcksy

  1. GFWD

    Thanks for the shout out. For any of the other die-hard Tar Heels here who want to get on my list o’ Heels, send me an email to “brown dolphin at mindspring dot com”. No spaces. You’ll get Brian’s rants and other tidbits I find or scoops which get sent to me. Neva, Emma, Ian, DFB’s&T’s, Zel M., Scruggs and others are already on there.
    I love that Rat Bastard keeps making the wrong choices, despite being afforded countless opportunities to make the right ones. If nothing else, our country’s political history shows that America values, above almost everything else, contrition and apologies. Clinton lied and never really sought to apologize and his critics have excoriated him for it.
    Similarly, Rats dismisses the Pete Gaudet incident and Tyler Hansbrough incident so callously that even non-basketball fans have to wonder why he doth protest too much when a simple “my bad” or “I’m sorry” might soften even the hardest of Tar Heel hearts.
    As Ian expertly pointed out, Rats could have healed all of the pain in the TAR HEEL nation after that Tyler incident by reassuring us that his little punk bitch player did not intend to hurt Tyler, while conceding that the player came in much too rough for the situation and that he’s remorseful and both he and the player hope Tyler heals up and is okay.
    But he didn’t and still hasn’t. Hell, even if he didn’t believe it, he could say it publicly and hold two crossed fingers behind his back and give his player a sly wink.
    When he DARED suggest that Tyler shouldn’t have been in the game, despite still having HIS starters in the game, my head nearly exploded. I commend Roy for being a gentleman and politely dismissing the statement in a classy manner. If I had been the coach, I might have reacted like John Chaney did when he got upset with John Calipari years ago.
    I thank the karma police for sending VCU to pay a visit on the dookies in the NCAA tourney’s first round. And I smile whenever I pull my new gray VCU T-shirt out of the dryer.
    We’re going to beat the snot out of dook at least twice this year. And Rat Bastard’s overall record versus Carolina AND Roy will be sub .500 once again.
    And I won’t be surprised one bit next year if Rats (1) passes out in a game; (2) has another [nervous breakdown] back injury or (3) one day simply sheds the flesh and bones covering his body and emerges in his true form, much like ‘Sardo Numspa’ in THE GOLDEN CHILD, and starts flying around cameron with his pterodactyl-like wings, horned skull, forked tongue (well, that won’t change) and spiked tail before crashing through the court named for him on his descent back home to the 9th circle of Hell. If Rats does #3 while I’m in attendance at the game, I sure hope I have my Adjanti dagger handy, if he decides to fly into the stands.
    I’m just saying . . . I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened.

    Reply
  2. John Schultz

    Can anyone explain why a college basketball coach is holding a press conference in the middle of summer?
    Do you know of any other college basketball coaches doing the same (aside from job changes)?

    Reply
  3. wottop

    Note: this was posted by user drsam on the InsideCaroina premium basketball board.
    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders defines Narcissistic Personality Disorder as a pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following.
    1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
    2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty or ideal love
    3. believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high status people
    4. requires excessive admiration
    5. has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with is or her expectations
    6. is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
    7. lacks empathy: is unwillng to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
    8. is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
    9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
    Vulnerability in self-esteem makes individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder very sensitive to “injury” from criticism or defeat. Although they may not show it outwardly, criticism may haunt these individuals and may leave them feeling humiliated, degraded, hollow, and empty. They may react with disdain, rage, or defiant counterattack.
    In the realm of psychiatry/psychology, it couldn’t be much clearer folks.
    Duke recruits: Please make special note of numbers 6 and 7.

    Reply
  4. LFMD

    Yeah, I hate that guy and all, but what I want to know is. . . . why aren’t you in line waiting to buy the iPhone?????

    Reply
  5. Andy

    That article made my blood boil as well. The amount of spin coming out of the K Domain is unbelievable. 3 thing stand out:
    1) IMO, his team’s massive underacheivement last year rests solely on his shoulders. He has surround himself with “Yes Men” on the bench who bring nothing to the table as basketball coaches or recruiters. Wojo is the big-man coach, for crying out loud. He is so busy with USA Basketball, speaking engagements, shooting commercials, building “Brand K” that he is neglecting the kids on the team.
    2) I can’t believe more hasn’t been made out of the number of transfers he has had out of the program. It really is stunning. Why isn’t anyone asking the question as to why this is happening? Why don’t more recruits take notice of this? He routinely takes McDonald’s All-Americans and buries them on the bench until they transfer and he can bring someone else in. He routinely brings in a token “center” and tells all other big men that they can come in and play the Wing Forward. Then the center sits on the bench (until he transfers) will the other guy plays the 5 and gets to set picks for JJ and Schyer for 4 years. He absolutely lies and misleads high school basketball players and I can’t understand why more of them aren’t catching on to this.
    3) If you have NBA aspirations, going to dook will cost you MILLIONS of dollars. Carlos Boozer player 3 years in Durham and was the 35th pick in the draft. Now he is an all-star who lost millions in his first 2 seasons that he will never get back. Shavlik Randolph was nearly good enough to go pro out our high school (and would have been a first round pick) but had to LEAVE dook after 3 years so that he could latch on with an NBA team as an UNDRAFTED free agent. There is no doubt that Josh McRoberts would have been a lottery pick out of high school (he was the #1 player in the land that year) or after his first year at dook. Now, after 2 years at dook, he’ll be drafted late in the first round. And the list goes on and on and on.
    K is all about one thing and that is K.

    Reply
  6. Andy

    Lee,
    Assume that an NBA player has a 10 year career. They basically have 10 years to make whatever money they are going to make.
    Boozer was obviously WAY undervalued as a 35th pick seeing as he is now considered an all-star. If he has that kind of talent, why wasn’t he used more at dook and seen as a more worthwhile draft pick when he left college? His first contract for the first 2 years in the league as a 35th pick was under $1M for 2 years. A lottery pick’s first 2 years is closer to $5-8 million over 2 years. So, he missed out on 2 years of earning power of a 10-year career because he was underutilized at dook.
    This hasn’t happened with Carolina players. You might make a case that Shammond Williams and Jeff McInnis have stuck in the league despite not being drafted in the first round but they aren’t all-stars by any stretch of the imagination.
    Show me a dook NBA player that wasn’t highly ranked coming out of high school. There aren’t any because K does a crappy job of developing his players. On the other side of the coin, you have guys like Hubert Davis, Shammond Williams, etc. that actually DEVELOPED into NBA players because they came to Carolina.

    Reply
  7. Paul G

    Coach K is tainted goods. Everybody knows it.
    Only thing I can’t decide is if I should cheer for our national team with K at the helm…

    Reply
  8. eric g.

    What K also fails to mention is the exemplary way Boozer has comported himself in the pro ranks. After the 2004 season, there was a team option year left on Boozer’s contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Boozer gave his word that he would remain in Cleveland if the club didn’t pick up the option (which was at the bargain-basement price of $695,000), because on July 1 of that year, he would be eligible for an “Early Bird” free agent contract for six years at a starting salary of roughly $5 million. “Trust me” Boozer said to Cavs’ owner Gordon Gund. And trust him Gund did, after which Boozer proceeded to become a restricted free agent and accept a six-year, $68 million contract with…the Utah Jazz. Is this what K teaches his “kids”? To lie through their teeth to people who have treated them well? Apparently so. Good luck in life, Carlos. Your word is shit.

    Reply
  9. scruggs

    GFWD…I need to get back on your dist. list. I think you only had my WB address. But now that we’ve moved, and I quit, I have a new address.
    Your spam filter won’t let me in, either.

    Reply
  10. Sean

    Hey, guess who just got drafted at number seven in the second round? Josh McRoberts.
    Guess who got drafted at fourteen in the second round? Reyshawn Terry.
    Nobody talked about Terry, he played four years, developed into a great player under the Carolina system, and then his workouts convinced Orlando to draft him. McRoberts was supposed to be a lottery pick, and he finally had to leave Duke in order to even be looked at. His workouts, after his dook tutelage, dropped him into the second round.
    hehehe.

    Reply
  11. kevin from NC

    Edwards actually is an NCSU grad but went to Carolina Law and has expunged all references to NCSU from his record.
    Sid Lowe had a press conference last week. RoyBoy will have one soon.
    All other K bashing is in excellent taste.

    Reply
  12. PC

    Ian–I came across this blog thanks to the nice folks at InsideCarolina, and even if I didn’t recall your Wednesday’s Child column fondly, and even if I wasn’t a bigger XTC fan than you (I worked at WXYC for nine years, and I think I played them on every shift), I’d have to applaud you for a wonderful excoriation of K-Rat and his mindset. Beautifully done!

    Reply
  13. Prospect Bark

    Hey Ian: GREAT piece on Coach K. I found your blog from the Eastern Parkway section of the NYC bloggers subway map (which is my own ‘hood). My disrespect of K lately had been unguided and non-specific until reading your post. But, looking back at how he handled the cheapshot on Hansbrough has sharpened my revulsion. And you’re right: he did a poor coaching job this year. There’s no one to blame but the coach whenever a team averages 2+ more turnovers than assists per game (esp: with a decent starting PG and a PF known for his “great passing.”)
    And, I agree with lots of comments made so far that argue K doesn’t develop talent. Look at Shavlick Randolph, who was playing really well for the 76ers until having a Theisman-esque injury. I’m confident that McRoberts will be a solid pro now that he’s escaped K’s vice grip and gets a chance to play alongside Oden. According to Oden’s blog, the two are best buddies: http://www.yardbarker.com/ncaa_basketball/articles/Young_McRoberts/15947
    And PC: I was an XYC DJ as well, but am pretty sure that I never played XTC. :) – Justin

    Reply

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