Dribble handoff: Will Mike Krzyzewski change his mind and return as Duke’s head coach?

Mike Krzyzewski’s 42nd season at Duke is sure to be a memorable one, as he coached the Blue Devils to an ACC regular season title and a Final Four appearance. Those achievements came as he and his team were under even more of a spotlight than usual after Krzyzewski announced last June that the 2021-22 campaign would be his last.

Considering the intense microscope the Blue Devils were under and the fact that they relied heavily on three freshmen, things worked out reasonably well. Of course, the March 5 loss to archrival North Carolina in Coach K’s final home game, along with a historic loss to the Tar Heels in the Final Four, were bittersweet for Duke fans. It may have been a good season, but losing to UNC was a tough way to end it.

With the season over, the finality of Krzyzewski’s career is a shock to the college basketball system. Though he named assistant coach Jon Scheyer as his successor last offseason, the sport’s buzz is already filled with questions about whether the 75-year-old Krzyzewski might change his mind and decide to keep working.

Former Duke star and current college basketball analyst Jay Williams fanned the flames of that possibility Monday. With Duke assistant Nolan Smith reportedly on his way to becoming one of Kenny Payne’s top assistants in Louisville, the Duke staff is certainly changing.

So what are the chances that Krzyzewski will change his mind and decide to return for a 43rd season coaching the Blue Devils? Our writers ponder that theme in this edition of the dribbling transfer.

I can’t see it happening

I guess I would never say never because the world is full of people who make weird decisions. But man, I’d be surprised if Krzyzewski returned after a farewell tour that wasn’t popular with everyone the first time.

would i really what again?

I seriously doubt it.

Remember, among the reasons Krzyzewski reportedly wanted Scheyer to succeed him instead of Tommy Amaker is because Scheyer was already on staff. As the story goes, Krzyzewski believed that bringing Amaker, now the Harvard coach, onto the staff to work with him for a season before taking over would be “disturbing” overall and “uncomfortable” for Scheyer. Well, what would be more disruptive overall and more uncomfortable for Scheyer than Coach K’s return now after Scheyer worked tirelessly so he could start his head coaching career with the highest-ranked recruiting class in the country? Also, one of the reasons Krzyzewski said he announced his retirement plans last summer is so the prospects Duke had targeted would know exactly who they would be playing for when they signed up. A return now, under these circumstances, would go directly against that statement he used to explain his plan.

Losing its final home game to North Carolina, and after UNC ends its run, is likely to eat away at Krzyzewski. I understand. On some level, I imagine that he will annoy him forever. But the icon won the ACC and advanced to a record 13 Final Fours in his final season at an age well above the number at which most have been kicked out of the sport. That’s it amazing. Most likely, he would not do better next season. In fact, it would most likely make it worse. So the right thing to do for Krzyzewski is to focus on an incredible career that spanned nearly five decades, care very little about how he ended up, honor his commitment to deliver things to Scheyer, and enjoy the rest of his life away from the world. Court. Maybe I’m being naive, but I suspect that’s exactly what he’s going to do. A change of course, of course, at this point would be shocking. –Gary Parish

I’d be even more hated than Tom Brady

So the reason we’re doing this, basically, is because Jay Williams came on national TV and suggested that there was a slim chance this could actually happen. I have that right? And Williams also said that he didn’t have any of this as learned intelligence, so to speak, and that he was just pondering. Aloud. About the former coach of him, the greatest coach in college athletics, repeating one of the most famous and publicized farewell seasons in American sports history. Wow.

But you know what? can’t pass I asked Krzyzewski directly if he was completely at peace with this decision before the North Carolina-Duke game. He closed the door. Again. He said that he was finished.

And then lost to UNC twice. Agonizing, I know. But this cannot happen. Krzyzewski is rightfully held, in basketball circles, in the highest regard of anyone in that world. But for sports fans, K is polarizing. He doesn’t like him as much as he loves him. Going back over what just happened would be so toxic that I think it would seriously damage his image and negatively impact Duke in the process. It’s not what he wants. I just can’t see this. He is 75 years old, everything imaginable has been done to fire him. That’s it. Returning and coaching Duke for another season would make him a bona fide villain to so many sports fans on a level we rarely see. -Matt Norlander

Never say never, but…

Sports retirements are easily the flimsiest retirements of all. Remember when ACC friend Jim Boeheim said he would retire in three years? That was seven years ago. Or when Rick Pitino retired after Louisville, only to return to coaching the following year (and to the collegiate ranks soon after)?

In training, especially with so much money out there, you can never Really say never So I won’t say definitively that there is no chance of Krzyzewski coming back.

But it sure as hell is very, very unlikely. Imagine the response K would get if he spent an entire season putting together a fanciful farewell tour only to reverse course. It just isn’t happening. Jon Scheyer is now the boy. That’s how K wanted it, that’s how Duke planned it, and Scheyer is executing it by getting nine recruits in just over nine months, including the No. 1 incoming recruiting class for next year. Nothing, not even a heartbreaking loss to North Carolina in the championship play-in game, is likely to change what has been going on for nearly a year. –Kyle Boone

No possibility

Krzyzewski’s choice to return would undermine Scheyer and make Duke even more despised in the sports world. Tom Brady did it. But he didn’t have a whole farewell tour first. He can’t announce that he’s retiring, accept all the accolades and accolades during a much-hyped victory lap…and then change his mind. This was Krzyzewski’s plan, and if he backed down now, he would appear ridiculous and unprofessional, and might even be detrimental to the show in the long run. He is smart enough to realize this, so there is no chance of him coming back.

“It has worked”.

That’s what Krzyzewski said about the show’s succession plan. If the deal was so fragile that it was derailed by a loss to North Carolina in the Final Four, or Nolan Smith’s departure to Louisville in the week since Coach K spoke those words, then it was a bad plan in the first place. . Staff turnover is an annual reality in college basketball, as are brutal emotional losses at the end of the season. –David Cobb

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