Few things irk me more in sports than when coaches or athletic directors try and preach sportsmanship to college athletes. Coach K did that last night, and he was flat out wrong.
The defending champion Duke Blue Devils got bounced last night in the Sweet 16 82-68 at the hands of the Oregon Ducks. It was a satisfying defeat for those who enjoy seeing Duke basketball crumble mercifully to its knees.
During the post-game handshake line, something crossed my eyes. Oregon winger Dillon Brooks and Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski seemed to have some exchange.
You can check the video in B/R’s tweet below.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 25, 2016
Here’s my breakdown: It’s not uncommon for a coach to spend an extra second or two talking to an opposing player — especially one that just dropped 22 points, six assists, and five boards on him. It seemed like nothing.
That was until Brooks was asked about it in the post-game press conference.
Dillon Brooks said Coach K told him in handshake line, "I'm too good of a player to be showing off at the end." Brooks: "He's right."
— Pete Thamel (@SIPeteThamel) March 25, 2016
The instance he’s referring to is, with the game over and about an eight-second difference in the game clock and the shot clock, Dillon Brooks hoisted a three from the logo instead of taking the shot clock violation (jump to the 5:00 mark of the video in link).
Well, Brooks drained it and gave a spirited celebratory fist bump after it.
Not to Coach K, who reportedly addressed the three and celebration, in one of those “you’re better than that,” moments only the head coach of Duke can give.
Understandably, Coach K denied those comments, standing his story where he just told Brooks he was a phenomenal player and all that good stuff. A classic ‘he said, she said’ game between a grown man and a college basketball player.
Why Coach K decided to say something in the first place is what pisses me off. Dillon Brooks is a 20-year-old kid. He hit a deep shot in a big game that symbolically sealed the victory.
He’s not any sort of detriment to the game of basketball by celebrating in that moment. Coach K reprimanding him condescendingly from his ivory tower in the foothills of Durham is laughable.
He’s not two years old. Stop trying to get him to eat his vegetables.
Coach K, you’re too good of a coach to let the petty bullshit in a double-digit loss get under your skin like that.
It reminded me of when your friend’s mom used to try and parent you like you were her own back in the day. Dillon Brooks has his own coach just like I have my own mother.
Please stop trying to civilize me. And please, coaches, for the love of God, please stop trying to civilize college athletes from the clutches of your seven figure salaries and Armani suits.