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Obligatory Coach K Is Retiring Post
We Lost A Villain
Coach K did the worst thing he could to the sport of college basketball. On a day when news dumps of epic proportion were happening in quick bursts, the iconic coach announced he would be leading Duke for one more season before hanging it up forever.
What a clown.
Jokes aside, this is an end to both an era and an error. With Roy Williams already gone, Michael William Krzyzewski was the last legendary coach left from the old guard. Sure, it can be argued there’s still some floating around the nation — good coaches, too. Like Leonard Hamilton — but no one’s star shined as bright as K’s.
The fucking dick.
In an attempt to avoid rehashing a billion columns already written by myself over the years, as well as others, there’s no need to dive deep into how Coach K impacted the landscape of basketball positively, negatively, or indifferently. It’s so well-covered at this point, writing anything else on the topic would be redundant.
However, what I would like to discuss is the sport’s loss of a villain.
Outside of those who went to Duke or are frontrunners and in turn are Blue Devils fans (you fucking losers), Coach K and company operated as The Evil Empire in college hoops. The Big Bad. The incredibly huge engine that could… again and again and again.
A plethora of entitled-ass white players slapping floors, somehow looking like they were donning polos in the process, were a large reason for everyone’s annoyance of Duke. God damn Woj can go eat dirt, kick rocks, and get curb-stomped until the end of days… I DO NOT CARE.
So, too, was how Coach K came off as indigent.
If he was mad after a loss, it was because he was using it as a coachable moment; or so media members would frame it.
If K was standoffish with the media, those fickle pricks had it coming.
When Duke failed to live up to expectations, it was someone else’s fault, or K’s back, or some benign rule change that Dick Vitale would scream about to the point I’m pretty sure he’s been the reanimated corpse of Dick Vitale on TV for a full decade now.
Much of the way Coach K was painted for decades was in such a loud, yet positive light that he faced backlash for stuff he didn’t even partake in. His biggest ally, Dick Vitale, ruined numerous broadcasts over the years by forcing DOOK talk into games the Blue Devils weren’t participating in.
I could go on and on about how Vitale, especially at this stage of the game, is a net-negative for college basketball. How a man once lauded for helping to make it a spectacle is now the worst ambassador it could have. But in terms relative to just Krzyzewski, our bald-headed-hero was the Bobby The Brain Heenan to K’s Andre The Giant — the mouthpiece Coach K had whether he wanted it or not.
Still, it helped give us a villain. And sports are better with villains. Hell, it doesn’t matter if the bad guys are sincerely villainous in behavior or not, either. Be successful long enough, then you’ll eventually be hated by large pockets of the population no matter what you do or say.
For one more season, we are going to battle mixed emotions. Coach K will certainly receive a farewell tour from fans and the media, and even us anti-K folk might want to give him a tip of our caps.
Let’s not give in, though. Other Big Bads might emerge in the upcoming years, but Coach K is The Final Boss of all Big Bads in any sport at every level. Simply because he’s retiring — which means not dying, column writers! Stop scribbling obits for the man — doesn’t mean we should treat him with anything other than the vitriol he (maybe doesn’t?) deserves.
In pro wrestling, the wayward stars on their way out need to put over the younger talent to help them become established. As a true and pure heel, Coach K won’t willingly do that. Nor should he. He’s still being paid to win basketball games with unpaid labor. With that being the case, it’s still Fuck Coach K in 2021 and beyond.
Anyway, he’ll be missed.
Joseph Nardone covered college basketball for nearly a decade at various outlets. He’s now writing fiction because he’s a fucking idiot and a glutton for punishment. Twitter is @JosephNardone. If you say mean things to him, he’ll just yell at his ceiling.