Mike Krzyzewski Rumors
Less than half — 43.1 percent — played more than 175 games, the equivalent of two-plus seasons. Only 39 of 469 players — 8.3 percent — made more than one NBA All-Star Game. “I don’t think that’s hard to believe,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told ESPN after being informed of the statistics. “Because some kids are just ahead of other kids, or some kids get more notoriety than other kids. It just shows there are a lot of kids out there who are going to get better. I’m not surprised by that. I see it all the time.
When Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski learned last summer that one of his former star pupils, Kyrie Irving, had requested to be traded from the Cavaliers, he was not stunned like many others were. He coached Irving at Duke and with Team USA, and he knew there was some part of his game, some part of his style, that had yet to be fully unlocked. He sent Irving a text message in July, telling him that he was there for him if he needed anything. But Krzyzewski also knew that it seemed Irving knew exactly what he wanted.
Krzyzewski is friends with Celtics coach Brad Stevens and team co-owner Steve Pagliuca, whose sons Joe and Nick played for Krzyzewski as walk-ons at Duke. After the massive August trade that sent Irving to Boston, Krzyzewski reached out to the Celtics. “You’re going to see more from him than you ever saw in Cleveland,” he told them. “His passing,” Krzyzewski said. “A lot of people just started labeling him as a scorer. And I told the Celtics, ‘This kid is unbelievable in ball screens, and he can pass the ball.’ And I think you’ve already seen that, and that’ll only get better.”
Irving has been complimentary of Stevens and he has emphasized how much trust he has in his system. Krzyzewski said that’s evident just from watching Irving and seeing his interactions with his new coach. He said it is clear Stevens is allowing Irving to play with freedom and confidence, and that the two appear to be “a perfect match.” “I see it in their eyes and I see it in their actions,” Krzyzewski said. “Also, the fact that Brad is allowing Kyrie to lead in real time. That’s the best thing that can happen for a coach, where you have somebody on the court who’s leading while the game is going on. You’re not waiting for a huddle or whatever. That’s happening already, and that’s only going to grow. It’s a tremendous talent for a coach to have for a team, and a lot of people don’t have it. I’m telling you, real-time leadership while the game is going on, and I see it. It’s really neat to watch. I love watching how this is growing for them.”