Watching from his home on a sylvan Durham border, the coach began seeing and hearing too many things he didn’t like. State at Cameron in which the defense essentially evaporated down the stretch, Krzyzewski called a team meeting at his house, then temporarily banned players from the locker room and forbade them to wear Duke gear. He’d taken similar actions in previous years, kicking individuals and entire teams out of practice or stripping the locker room of everything that wasn’t nailed down.
Adrenaline and passion are easy traits to understand in a competitor who’s won more games (1,071) than any man in major college history. Anger, however, is more difficult to see as a constant. Not in Krzyzewski’s firmament. “If you’re a competitor, I think you have to be angry at times,” Krzyzewski noted last week Chicago Bears Jerseys Cheap In Elite Quality during a break from his duties as head man at the K Academy, his five day, Duke based basketball fantasy camp for adult men. For him, those angry times may be episodic, but they are also routine. Anger can feel powerful and slightly dangerous, an expression of displeasure near the limits of self control. Counseling regimens, books, a lousy Jack Nicholson movie and an even lousier Charlie Sheen sitcom have been devoted to “anger management.” Krzyzewski, who lauded “the power of words” to open his 2006 book “Beyond Basketball,” and sometimes picks wholesale eagles jerseys at questioners’ phraseology, struggles to differentiate anger as a coaching essential from simply being energized and passionate. He concedes there’s a “fine line” between passionate and angry, and that anger may not be exactly the word he wants. But it’s the word he uses, the word that fits. In the 19 seasons from 1981 through 1999 no one left early for the pros, and the Blue Devils made seven Final Four appearances in a nine year span (1986 94). That stability made Duke an outlier among top teams and a target of negative recruiting for holding back players long before any such charge was leveled at Carolina’s Roy Williams. Since the end of that period, Krzyzewski’s program has seen regular attrition among players with eligibility remaining. Three left early after a loss in the ’99 NCAA championship game, and three more after ’02.