Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has 957 career victories, four national championships and two Olympic gold medals, so it would be easy to assume that nothing could unnerve a man so accomplished.
That's why it was so refreshing and humanizing to hear Krzyzewski admit on Saturday that he still gets tongue-tied in the presence of a pretty girl.
While regaling Duke students in line for season tickets with anecdotes from the night he presented LeBron James with SI's Sportsman of the Year award, Krzyzewski recalled spotting two empty seats next to him in the front row and wondering who was rude enough to show up late. Moments later, he got his answer when Jay-Z and Beyonce strolled into the room.
Jay-Z took the seat next to a starstruck Krzyzewski. Beyonce sat next to him. Krzyzewski, like any other man in his place, favored a slightly different seating arrangement.
"I love Jay-Z, but I'm madly in love with Beyonce," Krzyzewski said. "I wanted to tell him, 'Hey man, have you ever heard of boy-girl-boy?'"
Krzyzewski avoided that line of questioning, instead introducing himself to Jay-Z before he went on stage to deliver a speech about James. Then afterward he snapped photos with James and Jay-Z, all of which immediately hit Instagram and spread quickly across social media.
"I am the coolest 65-year-old on the planet, however, however, what I want has not happened yet," Krzyzewski continued. "I want to meet Beyonce.
"I go up to Beyonce, and you know how guys think they have a lot of good lines? I go up and I'm nervous as I can be. I'm like a teenager. And I go to her with a great line. I say, 'Hi, I'm Coach K.' And she said, 'Coach, I know who you are. I just listened to you for 10 minutes.' Like, patting me on the head, little boy. So now I feel like I'm 11. So what's my next line? I come up and I say, 'You're my favorite.' My face is red as can be, you know, I'm like 4 feet tall right now. And she says, 'Well, that's nice.' And I asked her -- and I don't usually do this -- but I said, 'Would you take a picture with me?'"
Krzyzewski got his picture, one in which he looks a bit more rosy-cheeked than usual as you might expect. Meanwhile the rest of us got something that may be even better out of the encounter: A hilarious story that proves college basketball's most successful living coach still has some of the same problems as the rest of us.
(Thanks, Duke Chronicle)