I'm onto you, Mike Krzyzewski. I see exactly what you're doing, and it's brilliant. You are brilliant. Diabolical and infuriating, but brilliant.
Now then, enough talking to you. The rest of this column is written for everyone else, because everyone else needs to understand just how cold, how calculating, you really are.
|Believe it, Coach Krzyzewski is up to something here -- guaranteed. (US Presswire)|
First, quickly, the play and its aftermath:
With 15 seconds left and North Carolina on the brink of the win, Hansbrough elevates in traffic and has the ball knocked loose from behind by Duke's Steve Johnson. Henderson, challenging from the front with his right hand, sees the ball float past and tracks it by twisting his torso in mid-air. His right forearm follows through in a short, devastating arc that ends at Hansbrough's nose.
Hansbrough's nose is broken. Blood everywhere. Henderson gets an intentional foul, ejected, and suspended one game. Here's video.
Since then, Coach K has waged a public-relations war so inept, so disarmingly dumb, that it has to be intentional. He's mind-freaking us like he mind-freaked potential 2006 lottery pick Josh McRoberts into staying for his sophomore season. He wants everyone to be so busy hating him -- Coach K -- that we forget about Gerald Henderson.
Speaking only for myself ... it's working.
Starting Sunday, here's how Coach K has altered the physics of our mind:
He indirectly blamed UNC coach Roy Williams by saying Hansbrough, an All-American, shouldn't have been on the court. "The game was over before that -- the outcome of the game, let's put it that way," Coach K said Sunday. "That's unfortunate that those people were in the game. ... I mean, 20 seconds left. You know what I mean. What I'm saying -- I'm not blaming anybody. It's unfortunate. We should have both probably had our walk-ons in. ... If they're still playing, we're going to play."
Coach K implied -- oh, hell, he came out and said -- that the bigger victim was Henderson. Not Hansbrough, who might have to wear a protective mask during the ACC Tournament. Here's what Coach K said Monday: "I don't blame anybody. I'm just saying it's unfortunate, and the person it's most unfortunate for is 'G'. That wasn't his intent (to injure Hansbrough), and that's not what he was doing during that play."
Coach K has spent most of his time with the media explaining Henderson's innocence, and very little expressing concern for Hansbrough. I counted 222 words on his version Monday of Henderson's foul, and two words -- "It's unfortunate" -- on Hansbrough's bloodied mess of a face.
Coach K made it clear that a Duke player who plays dirty is subject to harsher punishment than anything the ACC could dole out. "I would suspend a player who would do that for longer (than one game)," he said Monday. "Because you would never want that conduct -- that's just unacceptable. I would hope we would have even higher standards on that."