You come at the king, you better prepare for the fallout, as Alabama coach Nate Oats is learning firsthand. After questioning the motives of Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski for Duke's decision to cancel the remainder of the Blue Devils' nonconference games earlier this week, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim went on the offensive to defend for his fellow Hall of Famer, saying on Saturday that Oats' comments were "sad."
"I would like to address one thing here that's important," Boeheim said in his postgame press conference after the Orange defeated Boston College 101-63 Saturday. "First of all, everybody knows Mike Krzyzewski is a friend of mine. But Mike said in the summer and September, and October that we should delay the season. For some young coach who should know better, but didn't, to suggest that Mike Krzyzewski didn't want to play because he lost a couple games? Yeah, he's only won 1,100. Anybody who knows anything about college basketball knows that Mike Krzyzewski said that in the very beginning. In the very beginning, looking into a delay of the season, a delay of the tournament.
"I don't agree with [Krzyzewski]," he continued. "I think we need to play because the vaccine is not gonna be here for players and everybody until the middle of summer. We're not gonna be clear -- if [the vaccine] works, which I hope it will -- we're probably not gonna be clear until September. Really clear. To delay now a month or two, or whatever, isn't gonna change anything. It's not gonna be under control. And the safest place for our players is proven on campus."
Several college coaches have shared a similar sentiment as Boeheim -- that players are safer on campus than at home, where Duke players are being freed for Christmas break -- but that wasn't the point Boeheim wanted to hammer home. Boeheim instead pulled out the big guns for his friend, likening Oats' take to that of a blogger.
"Mike Krzyzewski -- anybody who thinks that he might not play because his team lost two games, it really is sad," he said. "I feel bad for somebody that would make a statement like that. I can understand how bloggers do that because they don't -- that's what they do. But Mike Krzyzewski isn't saying that because he doesn't want to play or he doesn't have a good team. He said that consistently from the beginning of the year and it's sad to see somebody say something like that. It really speaks to somebody's character."
Boeheim finished his 20-minute-long press conference with what he called his "sermon for the day."
Syracuse beat Boston College in convincing fashion to improve to 4-1 on the season, but clearly he had plenty other thoughts he wanted to get off his chest first.