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Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Coach K weighs in on Jay Cutler

By Diamond Leung

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski was born and raised in Chicago. Like every other sports fan he has an opinion on Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, who was sidelined during Sunday's NFC championship game with a knee strain.

And from an interview with USA Today, he apparently shared the view that many Bears fans had of the quarterback.
"When you can't play, you still have to be part (of the team)," Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski said Monday when asked about the game during an interview. "You should be encouraging the guy in for you, unless you have to go back to the training room. Your body is not there, but keep your spirit in there."

To get an idea of where Krzyzewski was coming from, Duke Blue Planet last week featured a blog entry that called Kyrie Irving a model teammate, including photos of the freshman guard celebrating from the bench in street clothes while nursing a toe injury that could cause him to miss the rest of the season.

"It would be human nature for a young freshman in this unfortunate situation to feel down, lack energy and spirit, and struggle to stay steady," wrote Dave Bradley, the team's recruiting and communications coordinator. " However, Kyrie has done just the opposite, staying focused on getting healthy while being a great teammate. During games, he brings as much enthusiasm as any player on the bench and no one in the gym celebrates a big Duke play more than Kyrie."

So no, Coach K did not like the demeanor in Cutler's case. The Fayetteville Observer also pointed to a radio interview in which Krzyzewski reiterated his opinion yet understood how what is seen on television doesn't always tell the entire story.
"If a guy's hurt, that team is not going to let him play," Coach K said. "If he can't play he can't play. But because of (Cutler's) reputation or the perception that he doesn’t always have a great face, what they portrayed on the sidelines was something that you wouldn't want to see. He wasn't interacting. At least what we saw on TV. But then after the game they talked about how he did interact with his teammates."

Coach K knows as well as anyone how what people see on TV can alter their perception of a person.

"They can make you out into who they want to make you out to be," he said.