June 26, 2024

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The Tour That Ended Mike Krzyzewski-Bob Knight

Retired Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski permanently severed his 50-year relationship with fellow Hall of Famer Bob Knight, his military coach and mentor, after a 2015 meetup that a former Krzyzewski team member described as a “disaster,” according to a new book by New York Post sports columnist Ian O’Connor.

in a “Coach K: The Rise and Era of Mike KrzyzewskiO’Connor reported meeting in West Point at Pinehurst Resort, NC Golf to celebrate the Knight’s first team-turned-ugly when Krzyzewski—apparently unaware that Knight was furious over many perceived insults—approached the three-time National Champion in Indiana trying to engage him in conversation, only to be ignored.

“Nate was sitting at a corner table…and Mike went up to him and got down on his knee to see eye to eye, and everyone continued their conversations,” former Army player John Mikula said. Mike got up, walked away, went and stood outside the room and said, ‘This is the last time he’s king. This is.’ …and it was a disaster.”

Mike Krzyzewski and Bob Knight, a former guide and teacher, have a permanently severed relationship.
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Jim Oxley, Krzewski’s old partner in the backcountry of West Point, recalled the scene.

Sports columnist Ian O'Connor's biography of Coach K.
Sports columnist Ian O’Connor’s biography of Coach K.

Mike came and said, ‘How are you, Coach? ” And [Knight] He didn’t even hesitate and continued with his story, that sort of thing,” Oxley said. “That was its beginning. That was one of the many straws that broke the camel’s back. I remember Mike getting out of there saying, “That’s it. I will never do this again.”

O’Connor reported that Knight was upset that Krzyzewski, who had led the United States to three gold medals, had not handed over his coaching duties at the Olympics after winning his first gold in Beijing in 2008, and that coach K had not responded to his offer. To explore international opponents in his favour.

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In 2011, Krzyzewski broke Knight’s record in the Premier League with his 903rd win. He now has nearly 1,200.

The Krzyzewski-Knight relationship began to unravel in the Final Four 1992, as Knight barely acknowledged the stunned Coach K in a car handshake after Duke beat Indiana, and then completely ignored him as they passed each other to and from their post-match press conferences. . Knight received a hand-written letter to Krzyzewski that night expressing his disappointment over a published report that coach K was keen to establish a separate identity from his mentor. Knight Krzyzewski assisted with key training jobs in the Army and at Duke.

“I’ve never seen Coach K get hurt by anything like that,” said Mike Cragg, longtime director of sports information and current athletic director at St John’s.

Bob Knight illustrates the incident that led to his arrest in Puerto Rico in 1979 to then-assistant coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Bob Knight illustrates the incident that led to his arrest in Puerto Rico in 1979 to then-assistant coach Mike Krzyzewski.
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Krzyzewski, 75, is in his 42nd and final season at Duke. Knight, 81, lives in Bloomington, Indiana; His health has reportedly deteriorated in recent years. O’Connor reported that the legendary coaches would try to reconcile more than once—Coach K was introduced by Knight at his 2001 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony—before the Pinehurst accident ended it all.

“It’s finally over with Coach Nate,” said Coach K’s son-in-law and former Duke assistant Chris Spatola.