Coach K to Team on Kobe: "Men Cry"

ShawnKrest

Most of the players on Duke’s team grew up watching Kobe Bryant, and the NBA legend’s death hit them hard, particularly Los Angeles resident Cassius Stanley, who got advice from Kobe when selecting a college.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski held a team meeting on Monday to discuss Bryant’s death.

“We met in my office before practice yesterday,” he said after Tuesday’s win over Pitt. “We tried to comfort them, and I wanted them to comfort me. I wanted them to know. We showed pictures of the (Olympic) teams. I explained some stories so that they could understand the depth of it. And also, they saw me crying. I talked to them about, ‘Look, adults cry. Men cry. I just want you to know how much this meant. I know it means a lot to you, because you idolize him, and you look up to him. So we had a really good session in my office—just the team, coaches and myself. Then we had the ideas going about the shirts (both teams wore commemorative warmups with Bryant’s numbers, 8 and 24 on them in Lakers colors. Coach K wore one to his postgame press conference), and the moment of silence (a 24.8 second countdown on the arena scoreboard prior to the game).”

“We also had the moment of silence for Gene (Corrigan, former ACC commissioner who died at age 91) who’s, in intercollegiate athletics, if he isn’t on Mount Rushmore, I don’t know who else is. So there’s a lot of death. Like for kids how do you … that’s even more difficult to handle. Anyway, we tried to do our best in talking about it.”

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