Duke basketball: Head coach publicly questions Mike Krzyzewski’s motives

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

An SEC head coach has chimed in on the Duke basketball CEO’s viral remarks.

There have been countless hateful headlines regarding the latest press conference from Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski, which followed his team’s 83-68 home loss to Illinois in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday night. Deadspin outdid all other haters with its “Coach K is still a weasel” doozy.

ALSO READ: Coach K comes under fire after loss

During Krzyzewski’s chat with reporters, the Hall of Famer wondered aloud whether it’s appropriate to play basketball games in the midst of an escalating pandemic and made sure to point out that his comments are not due to No. 10 Duke’s ugly 2-2 start:

“I don’t think it feels right to anybody…I know somebody will take what I’m saying tonight and make it like I’m making excuses. I don’t make excuses.”

Naturally, seemingly every member of the Duke-hating national media used these quotes as an opportunity to cast doubt on Coach K’s good-guy motives.

Now, as of Thursday afternoon, a random head coach in the SEC has joined the club. Perhaps in an attempt to garner attention for a consistently irrelevant program, Alabama basketball head coach Nate Oats chimed in by publicly questioning the five-time national champion and game’s all-time wins leader:

“Do you think if Coach K hadn’t lost the two non-conference games at home that he’d still be saying that? … I think we’d have a whole lot more problems if we weren’t playing games.”

Nate Oats doesn’t seem on the same page as the Duke basketball treasure

Oats, whose Crimson Tide are 3-1 after finishing 16-15 last season in his first year at the helm in Tuscaloosa, continued to sound off by addressing the subject of coaches wearing masks during the heat of battle:

“Everybody talks about COVID…I’m trying to do my best to keep the mask up. I’ve already had COVID, so technically, I shouldn’t have to keep it up. Nobody can get it from me…”

While the 46-year-old Oats did not directly mention the Duke staff in this next part of his speech, it is clear that the 73-year-old Coach K — unquestionably the most recognizable face across college hoops and the one that appears most on ESPN — falls in the group of those who regularly lower their masks when talking to both players and refs:

“I see all these other guys…their mask’s down the whole game. It’s like they have a chin strap on. So if they’re really worried…you’d think their mask would be up the whole game, right?”

ALSO READ: Pundit takes a cheap shot at Coach K

Finally, Oats wrapped up his take by summarizing what appears to be pretty much the opposite of Coach K’s stance on combating world conditions:

“You’ve still gotta do life. A huge part of life for all these guys…is being in the gym playing basketball. So I think their mental health is in a much better spot playing basketball, and I think the school, the SEC, the NCAA has done a really good job making sure that we’re not putting any of them in danger.”

Assuming Coach K and his assistants do not find a replacement for their presently “postponed” matchup against Charleston Southern, which was originally on tap for Saturday, Duke’s next outing will also be both its first road test and its first ACC contest. The Blue Devils are slated to be in South Bend, Ind., at 9 p.m. Wednesday to take on Notre Dame (ESPN).

Related Story. The 10 most hated Blue Devils of all time. light

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