Mike Krzyzewski vs Coach of Russian Team

by September 09, 2010

Coach K is fighting his own personal Cold War with David Blatt, an American coaching the Russian hoops team at the World Championship in Turkey. The Daily Herald reports: “There is an interesting sidebar to Thursday’s U.S.-Russia quarterfinal at the FIBA World Championships. The game falls on the 38th anniversary of the controversial gold-medal game at the 1972 Munich Olympics. After a couple of false endings, the Soviet Union completed a long pass and layup at the buzzer to beat the U.S. 51-50 in a hotly disputed ending. It was the United States’ first loss in Olympic basketball competition and the U.S. players and coaches refused to accept their silver medals. American-born Russia coach David Blatt added some color to this matchup by stating Wednesday he once believed the U.S. was cheated out of the gold medal, but now thinks the Soviet Union won the ’72 game fair and square. ‘I was one of those kids crying when the Americans lost the game in the Olympics, when (Aleksander) Belov made the shot at the end,’ Blatt said. ‘I hate to say it, as an American, but it looks like the Russians were right that the American team was not cheated. Funny things happened. But in reality, it was fair. It was fair.’ Naturally, U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski used Blatt’s opinion as bulletin board material. ‘Whatever he thinks, he thinks,’ Krzyzewski said. ‘It really has absolutely no bearing on what we’re trying to do tomorrow. Absolutely none. We’ve addressed that that game was played 38 years ago, and five of these guys are 21. So I don’t think they remember it as well. It is what it is. It’ll be a negative from the way the U.S. looks at it forever, and should be. And it’ll be in some ways a positive for those who believe in fairy tales.'”