Just months into his freshman season with the Blue Devils Duke freshman forward Mason Plumlee is starting to suspect that Coach Mike Krzyzewski might be a total dickhead.
Despite Krzyzewski’s pleasant, fatherly demeanor throughout the recruiting process, Plumlee says that the coach’s formerly upright behavior underwent a marked change once the highly touted young forward arrived on campus.
“When he was recruiting me, Coach K just smiled and told my mom how character was the most important thing to him,” Plumlee said. “Now I’m starting to wonder if he was the one who ran over our dog that day and just didn’t say anything.”
Plumlee said that he expected for Coach K to nurture him as he develops his game, but he’s skeptical of some of what the coach considers fundamentals, a list that includes pressure defense, never tipping more than eight percent, and saying Coach isn’t around right now if Trajan Langdon calls to ask for a job.
Plumlee added that Krzyzewski’s “nearly constant” torrent of sneers, verbal abuse, and requests to bum cigarettes without ever buying a pack of his own are making the forward question whether his coach is really the man the public thinks he is.
“Some of Coach’s motivational tactics confuse me a little," says Plumlee. "Earlier this season, he took me aside and asked if it would be cool if he hooked up with my ex-girlfriend. He said, ‘I don’t want to date her or anything, just fool around with her a little.’ I guess he was just trying to inspire me to play better, but I didn’t really get it.”
Plumlee also bristles a bit each time he walks by Krzyzewski’s Lexus, which is always double-parked in a handicapped spot because, according to Plumlee, “Coach says, ‘What, you think someone’s going to towme?’ And he's got a point. Especially since his vanity license plate is FUK-YOU.”
Even when Krzyzewski is apparently being nice, Plumlee still gets the sinking feeling that the coach is a dick.
“He gave an orphanage a donation check for five-hundred grand when I was in his office one day. When they left I said I hoped I could afford to be that generous some day, and Coach just laughed and said, ‘Lemme teach you a little something about charitable donations,’ and called his bank to stop payment on the check,’” said Plumlee.
Plumlee tried to talk to the coach about some of these concerns during an elevator ride at a team hotel last month, but the meeting didn’t go as planned.
“Coach was fooling around on his BlackBerry the whole time I was talking. When I realized he wasn’t paying any attention, I asked if he was too busy to talk. He said he was just really trying to beat his high score on Tetris,” remembered Plumlee. “Then he farted and held the ‘Door Close’ button for like five minutes.”
Despite his worries that his coach is a jerk, Plumlee still believes in Krzyzewski’s coaching abilities.
“It’s hard to question his credentials when he keeps showing you his gold medals from the 2008 Olympics,” concedes Plumlee. “I’m not sure why he’s got two of them, though. I think he said he swiped the second one out of Michael Redd’s suitcase.”
When reached for comment, Krzyzewski confirmed most of the behavior Plumlee described, but offered some justifications for his actions.
“Sure, a lot of other coaches don’t cheat at poker on the team plane, but when I send my players out into the world, they’re armed with more than just a jumpshot,” explained Krzyzewski. “They’re armed with the knowledge that they should never, ever tell the woman they’re sleeping with their real name.”