This is an article from the Feb. 21, 2011 issue
Coach K's fifth-ranked Blue Devils are 23--2—despite losing star freshman Kyrie Irving to a toe injury in December
Dan Patrick:What was halftime like in the win over North Carolina, when you were down by 14?
Mike Krzyzewski: We were playing real hard, and we were really ready to play. But we went nuts. When I was a cadet at West Point, we used to call guys who did that "pinging around." They would be in their room going, ping, ping. They were bouncing off walls and not getting anything done. It was more to settle them down and say, "You're obviously ready. Let's slow down." It worked out. It was like two different halves.
DP:What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?
MK: I'll give you two. My mom and dad said, "You have to go to West Point," when I didn't want to. I followed their advice. Second, Coach [Henry] Iba and Coach [Pete] Newell—when I was working with Coach [Bob] Knight during the Olympics in 1984—said, "You can take all of what Coach gives you, but just be yourself when you're implementing those things." You can have a role model, but you're not going to be exactly like that role model.
DP:How is Kyrie Irving's toe?
MK: I don't think he'll play this year. But he's getting a lot better. He's out of the cast. He's going through rehab. We're not going to take any chances with him. He'd have to be 100%, and 100% is down the road.
DP:Are you concerned Irving will be one-and-done?
MK: He could be, and that would be fine. Whatever Kyrie wants to do, we are fully supportive. He's a beautiful kid. He really is a superstar for college. For him to be out and miss all this, he could have a bad attitude or a pity party every day. Just the opposite—he's been magnificent.
DP:How do you compare Irving to what you saw of Bears quarterback Jay Cutler in the NFL playoffs?
MK: You only see what the camera shows. The stuff that they showed of Jay was not impressive. It looks like he wasn't into the game. Hearing from some of the other players, they said he was. You're a slave to whatever TV shows you. I'm not going to cut the guy up, because I wasn't there. I can see what Kyrie's doing. He's in our huddle. We talked to our guys about that. If you're a starter and a sub is in for you, give that sub support. When you get into the game, you're mentally into the game.
DP:Jerry Sloan stepped down after 23 years. Do you think about giving up coaching?
MK: There are moments. For someone who's been in his profession for a long time and who has had success, there are moments.
DP:When do those moments come?
MK: It's when you get really tired. It's not necessarily after a loss. Sometimes it's before a game, when you have a little harder time getting as emotionally into it as you would like. That happens once or twice a year for me. I think you're not a human being unless you experience a little bit of that. And a lot is expected of us. A great performance is expected every time. That's the standard that we've [set]. Not that we achieve it every time, but we attempt to. When we don't, that's going to be news. That's a big emotional investment for every game.
• Screen Idol
Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis said he's going to return next season with the Ravens, but he's already spent time thinking about life after football. Lewis told me he's wanted to act his whole life, and he doesn't want to be pigeonholed as an action hero. "I'm not going to be like the Rock," Lewis said. "I'm going to be like me. I'm very versatile. I can definitely go into action. But action is probably the easiest one. Possibly drama, suspense." Lewis thinks he can do romantic comedy as well, and proposed Salma Hayek as a potential costar.
• Tobacco Road Rage
North Carolina head coach Roy Williams offered his perspective on the Tar Heels' rivalry with Duke. It's so intense, he says, it's made him afraid to walk around the block. "In 2005 and '09 we won a national championship, and I spent two or three days not walking out in front of traffic," he said with a chuckle. "And after two or three days I was very cautious again because you never know how someone's going to feel about you."
• Line of the week
NBA three-point king Ray Allen (page 48) explained how he motivates himself: "In my mind I always think that the next shot won't go in."
Now Hear This
Listen to the podcasts at danpatrick.com
1. Kevin Durant of the Thunder on the art of the shot.
2. Kevin Love discusses Tim Duncan and cologne.
THE FINE PRINT: More fallout from Super Bowl XLV. Turns out the bucket of popcorn Cameron Diaz was feeding A-Rod had its own seat.