This summer has been a different experience for Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski. As he prepares for his final season on the bench, Krzyzewski has not had the routine of the recruiting circuit that has filled much of his offseason time in each of the previous 40-plus years.
“I was ready not to be on the road,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons not to continue. It’s not like I hated recruiting. It’s just time – the amount of time that you have to spend and commit to be really good every year. I knew I wasn’t going to do that anymore. … It’s been good. I wasn’t looking forward to being on the road, and really if I was on the road it would be as an impostor because I’m not going to be back next year.”
Of course, while Coach K has gotten a break from building the rosters of future Duke teams, he’s not shirking his responsibilities to this year’s squad.
“As far as time preparation for the team, I’ve been watching tape,” he said. “To be quite frank with you, I’ve watched a lot of tape.”
Krzyzewski has some experience with life after retirement. He got to watch the U.S. National Team compete in the Olympics from a distance this summer, after giving up the role as head coach following the 2016 games.
After a shaky start, Greg Popovich led the national team to a gold medal in Tokyo.
“I watched a lot of the international play,” Coach K said. “Not just the U.S. – and congratulations to them. Their defense really won the day for them, and that guy Kevin Durant was not bad. I’ve been corresponding with Pop, and he did a great job.”