Things are not going well for the Duke men’s basketball team right now. They’re 5-5 and dropped their third straight game on Saturday night with a 70-65 loss to Louisville.
You’d expect coach Mike Krzyzewski, one of the most respected coaches in the game, to give well-practiced answers to questions during his postgame news conference. He’s been doing this for more than 40 years, so he obviously knows how to give diplomatic but respectful answers after a tough loss.
Not on Saturday night, though. A student named Jake Piazza, who writes for the Duke Chronicle, asked Coach K what’s next for the team after three straight losses. Coach K didn’t like the question and immediately let Piazza know it.
Coach K lashes out at student reporter
Instead of answering Piazza’s question, Coach K decided to belittle him for being a student. He pointedly asked Piazza what his hardest class is, and then used that as an excuse not to answer the question.
It was an outsized and surprising response. Piazza’s question was reasonable and necessary, and one that Coach K has literally been asked probably a thousand times. Duke is a program with a history of success under Coach K, and this 5-5 start is uncharacteristic. Every fan wants to know what Coach K is going to do now and how he’s going to fix the team’s issues.
But Coach K wasn’t in the mood to tolerate normal questions on Saturday night, or at least a normal question from a student reporter. For whatever reason, he decided that Piazza didn’t deserve an answer to his question, and didn’t deserve to be treated with the same respect as other reporters.
Criticism flies at Coach K for behavior toward student reporter
When the video of Coach K’s pissy answer appeared on Twitter, people came to Piazza’s defense while pointing out how “classless” and unnecessary Coach K’s response was.
Coach K going after student reporters for a completely valid question is about the most classless thing I can imagine a coach in his position doing. Well, outside opting out of a season for back surgery, anyway https://t.co/pvIgGf298V
— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) January 24, 2021
I don’t know Coach K, but I can’t stand how we have to pretend that many all-time coaches don’t often act like jerks. Just answer the student’s question. It wasn’t that hard. https://t.co/NmQ7eJTiqs
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) January 24, 2021
This is unbelievable. Any college coach I’ve ever interacted with in a working capacity has treated me w/ the same amount of respect as any other full-time professional media member (which I greatly appreciate & value). Coach K owes this student a sincere apology and then some. https://t.co/UEjvtROa60
— William Galloway (@Wm_Galloway) January 24, 2021
Whenever folks tell me that Coach K is a “leader of men,” I just think about nights like tonight where he makes an absolute ass of himself as the quickest sign of adversity. https://t.co/4g0gkseely
— UNC Humor (@UNC_Humor) January 24, 2021
Coach K is wrong for this.
Also, soooo soft for not being able to handle a legitimate question.
— Robert Flores (@RoFlo) January 24, 2021
Coach K has probably been asked this question a million times and could answer it on autopilot if he wanted to, so this just wasn't a good look. https://t.co/AGpRO8VF03
— D.J. Short (@djshort) January 24, 2021
Covering Jim Boeheim for two years in college, I saw a grouchy coach reluctantly answer questions from a student reporter a time or two. But this guy Coach K stinks. What a terrible way to answer that question. https://t.co/LkMYNpt3Yb
— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) January 24, 2021
Coach K has yet to respond to the criticism. Thankfully, it doesn’t look like the ordeal has put off Piazza, even though it was apparently the first question he ever asked Coach K during a postgame news conference.
This was not exactly how I expected my first postgame question to Coach K to go. https://t.co/a7sU1UE46a
— Jake Piazza (@jake_piazza) January 24, 2021
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