Anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I’m a diehard Tarheel fan and not a fan of Duke. I am however a fan of Coach K. He operates at a level of excellence that has transcended and influenced generations of young men making them better in every way. I would like to share a very valuable lesson that I learned from a press conference.
The year was 2002 and Duke had just lost a nail biter to Indiana in the NCAA Tournament (I watched the game and was actually pulling for Duke). I would like to add that Carlos Boozer was blatantly fouled on the last shot and there was a no call and Duke ended up losing by 1 point. The coach at the time for Indiana was Mike Davis and after the game at the press conference, he disrespected the Duke basketball program as well as Coach K; would not give either any credit whatsoever for the game that day or their history of winning. He answered every question using a combative tone with a giant chip on his shoulder.
After he left the podium Coach K came up and immediately the press tried to draw him into a war of words with the Indiana coach by repeating some of the coach’s curt statements and also tried to get him to indict the refs for the no call. Coach K’s response was epic. He said, “the game we play is too great to be reduced by doing anything other than talking about the kids on both teams who poured their heart and soul out in today’s contest.” He had nothing but praise for the Indiana program and their coach in the press conference that day.
I found myself in awe of this Great Man and I immediately experienced an epiphany: WOW, that is why he is Coach K! Arguably the greatest coach ever and now the winningest coach in Men’s College Basketball history. Since that game he has gone on to win 2 more National Championships and another this year would not come as a surprise to anyone. Mike Davis on the other hand? Left Indiana, went to UAB for a stint and is now at Texas Southern (which I had to research to find out). And Coach K is still Coach K. We have a saying in our family: “That is why you are who you are, and they are who they are”. Don’t allow people who will Never be on your level to engage you in a situation that will reduce you to less than you are truly meant to be.
**Give Nehemiah 6 a read**