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The Duke Blue Devils men's basketball team is ninth in the AP Poll and fifth in the Coaches Poll. They improved to 21-4 this season with a win over the weekend against Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA. Taking in the game was three-time NBA All-Star and Duke alum Jayson Tatum.

When Tatum stopped by the Blue Devils' locker room, Coach K capitalized on the opportunity to highlight some of what makes the Celtics' star so successful. Within that message, Krzyzewski shared what he told Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens as Boston did its due diligence on Tatum in advance of the 2017 Draft.

"I remember having talks with Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens. They said, 'what about Jayson?' I said, 'well, he's the best player.' I said, 'I'll tell you one thing, if you're best player can be coached hard, it's going to be good for your franchise. And I'll tell you this, he was coached hard.'

"He wants to be coached hard, still wants to be coached hard. That's why he's one of the top players in the league and a starter in the All-Star Game. The great ones, the really good ones, and you don't have to be great like an All-Star, but you as much as you can do, you want to be coached hard, you want to become better."

That feedback from Krzyzewski gave the Celtics even more confidence about making the boldest decision of Ainge's tenure as the team's president of basketball operations, trading the No. 1 pick that year in a swap with the Sixers. The result was Philadelphia selecting Markelle Fultz while Boston moved down two spots, drafted the player they coveted most, and gained a 2019 first-round pick the Celtics used to select Romeo Langford.

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Further Reading

Celtics Catch a Huge Break Ahead of Game vs. Sixers

Celtics Sign Sam Hauser, Luke Kornet to Standard Contracts, Can Now Add Players Via 10-Day Deals

Brad Stevens Addresses Celtics' Motivations at the Deadline: 'We want to maintain the stretch we're on, but this is about the long-term'

Celtics Bring Back Daniel Theis, Send Dennis Schroder, Enes Freedom, Bruno Fernando to Rockets

Celtics Trade Josh Richardson, Protected 2022 first-round pick, Romeo Langford to Spurs for Derrick White

10 Tidbits About Jayson Tatum's All-Star Game Appearance: Historic Achievements, Past Performances, Adding to Celtic Lore