Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski expressed a ton of respect for Tom Izzo and Michigan State’s basketball program. So much so that he turned his Thursday afternoon Sweet 16 press conference into a roast of sorts.
And it started right away. With Krzyzewski’s deadpan delivery, it simply added to some of the more humorous moments in what typically is an otherwise insipid setting.
From the start, about Izzo: “Tom is somebody I really admire. I admired him when he was an assistant, because I didn’t know that anyone could really be an assistant for Jud. I hope Jud takes that the right way. It’s meant as a joke.”
When a reporter began a question by saying that Krzyzewski barely displays emotions or talks about his feelings: “How do you know about that me? Have you seen me in intimate moments? What do you mean? Is there a camera on me all the time?”
And then came the doozy of the day.
Krzyzewski was asked if he had heard that Izzo’s son, Steven, has picked the Blue Devils to win Friday’s Sweet 16 game in his NCAA tournament bracket. To which, the Duke coach provided the equivalent of Dave Chappelle tossing his mic to the ground at the end of a gut-splitting set.
“Well, one of my granddaughters picked Montana to win the whole thing. She had Montana beating us in the national championship game. So I wouldn’t bet on necessarily what kids or grandkids do, but I thought that was a great story.
“And for Tom to share it, that’s a good thing. And by the way, his son will be sitting on our bench and has a scholarship to Duke. He didn’t know that on Facebook and that on Twitter. I’ve been communicating with him and have arranged that deal. So he sold him out. But he sold him out for a good price. So it’s a good thing.
Please tip your waiters and try the veal.
Izzo unleashed his own twisted sense of humor when asked about his son’s betrayal. Here’s your two-for-one comedy double-shot.
“You’re going to cause me a divorce, you know that? My wife’s so mad at me right now. My son said it to a reporter last week. We’re sitting at the table and he’s getting ready for school and I’m getting ready to go to work. I always have a couple brackets that we have a little argument with, with our neighbors. And I make sure his name’s on it, because the NCAA, you’re not allowed to do any of that.
“So I said, ‘Steven, who are we picking here and who are we picking there?’ He had his whole bracket filled out and I get a big enlarged one. In our bracket, the only one that wasn’t filled out to the end, I said, ‘You haven’t finished this one.’ He said, ‘I’m having trouble with a game.’ I said, ‘What game?’ He said, ‘I got you getting to Duke, Dad.’ I said, ‘That’s good.’ I said, ‘Where are we going from there?’ ‘I don’t know, you know? I don’t know, Dad. I don’t know.’
“So I just kind of ‑‑ I tried to be a real parent, you know, not push your kid. Help him make intelligent decisions, like all of us do. And I said, ‘Steven, I love you, man. Do it with your head, not your heart. Don’t worry about Mom or Dad.’ The damn kid didn’t do it. He didn’t worry about us at all. He picked Duke and we move on.
“So as I told a lot of people, I love my kid. He’s a skinny little guy that won’t be eating for a month if we lose this game. That’s the way it works. That’s the way it goes. …
“Thanks a lot for having me.”
Please drive safely, everyone. The real show starts at 9:45 p.m. on Friday, and most expect it to be more drama than comedy.