Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Coach K thrilled to break record at MSG
By Kieran Darcy
At the very end of his postgame news conference Tuesday night, an emotional Mike Krzyzewski was about to walk away from the microphone when he paused for a moment.
Just a few minutes earlier, the Duke coach had become the winningest coach in Division I history when his Blue Devils defeated Michigan State 74-69. Krzyzewski, his eyes appearing red, had already talked about the relief he felt that the record-breaking chase was finally over. He had shared how much it meant to him that his brother was in attendance to see him make history.
But Coach K had one more thing on his mind.
"I’ll say one last thing," Krzyzewski said, unprompted by the media. "To have this milestone in Madison Square Garden is truly special.
"As a player at Army and a coach at Army and a coach at Duke, I've always considered this hallowed ground. And it just worked out. How the hell did that happen? It just worked out."
With that, Krzyzewski left the stage.
Earlier, Krzyzewski talked about how grateful he was that Bob Knight -- his former coach at Army, and his mentor throughout his coaching career -- was in attendance, as part of the ESPN broadcast crew.
"I want to thank the basketball gods for allowing Coach [Knight] to be here for this moment," Krzyzewski said. "To have the two of us together -- 'cause you don't know that that would happen. That was really a good thing, for the two of us to be together tonight."
Krzyzewski also made a New York Yankees reference, when talking about how challenging it is to maintain success year after year at the college level. "You have to do it with different teams," Krzyzewski said. "We don't have [Derek] Jeter or [Mariano] Rivera for 15 straight years."
And Coach K talked about how touched he was that about 25 to 30 former players of his were in attendance Tuesday night -- including New York Knick Carmelo Anthony, who Krzyzewski coached on the U.S. Olympic team.