Mike Krzyzewski, or as most people know him – Coach K, is widely known as one of the most famous and successful coaches in basketball history. From over 1000 wins with Duke to three Olympic golds and two World Championships, Coach K has won numerous times at all levels. But before he was one of the best coaches in the world, Coach K had to grind his way to the top, as the assistant with the best basketball team in history, the 1992 “Dream Team.”
Being part of the staff behind the legendary coach Chuck Daly gave Coach K a chance to learn from one of the best while coaching a group of the best basketball players ever. Of course, it was a scary situation to be put in, with many stars to handle. Still, his first interaction with the leader Michael Jordan made him comfortable and confident to do his job to the best of his abilities.
While doing an interview with Graham Bensinger back in 2016, Krzyzewski described his first interaction with MJ and how it allowed him to coach the pack of stars with confidence:
“It was after our first practice; I felt good because they didn’t make a mistake their first practice, and I’m just sitting there, and he came over and he says: ‘Hey coach, would you please, I’d like to work on some of my offensive stuff, would you please work with me?’ I thought he was coming over to give me a hard time because he’s from North Carolina, and I’m from Duke. I actually think it was his way of making me feel comfortable.”Mike Krzyzewski, via Graham Bensinger
Coach K knew MJ could have walked up to him and just straight told him to do something for him without any regard for politeness or his feelings. But instead, Jordan showed classy mannerism and considered Coach K’s status and allowed him to do what he does best. Coach and improve players. Even though he gets a bad rep because of his unmatched willingness to win and toughness towards his teammates, Jordan showed he still has a human side and respect for others around him in this sequence.