Before we really begin here, let's briefly look back to March.
Oregon had just eliminated Duke from the NCAA Tournament. In the post-game handshake line, Blue Devils coach MikeKrzyzewski appeared to give Ducks guard Dillon Brooks a brief but very pedantic lecture following a bit of last-second bravado from the Oregon star.
Then Coach K, as he's known, lied.
"He just told me that I'm too good of a player to be showing out at the end," Brooks told reporters after the game, and after a minor kerfuffle had erupted around what Coach K may or may not have told him. "And he's right. I've got to respect Duke."
Coach K denied this.
"I didn't say that," Krzyzewski said after reporters related Brooks' version of events. "You can say whatever you want. Dillon Brooks is a hell of a player. I said, 'You're a terrific player.' And you can take whatever he said and then go with it, all right?"
Then video with a clear audio feed emerged. It showed Coach K telling Brooks, "You're too good of a player to do that. You're too good of a player."
What was Brooks' sin? Sinking a late-game three-pointer with the game's result already decided, then celebrating with an emphatic salute. After the video showed that Coach K did, in fact, "say that," the Duke coach who has been lionized for decades by media as a holy paragon of All-American virtues issued a statement.
But Coach K didn't say he lied which is what he'd done. Instead, Coach K said he "reacted incorrectly to a reporter's question about my comment to Dillon."
Those are some impressive linguistic contortions. But enough from March now that we've set the scene, let's move on to the events of this Thursday.
'I handle things the way I handle them'
Grayson Allen was suspended indefinitely Thursday morning by Duke and Coach K after tripping a player from an overmatched preseason opponent on Wednesday night.
Allen has become notorious for his dirty antics. Wednesday night's approximation of a kung-fu move was his third instance of tripping in the past 13 months. But Allen doesn't just trip! He flops, undercuts and tackles as compiled here. He is objectively and legitimately a dirty (as well as talented) basketball player.
So, Allen was suspended indefinitely on Thursday morning after his latest transgression. But even the path to that punishment was lined with sanctimony and arrogance from Coach K.
Allen was not benched during the game. He continued to play on Wednesday night after his trip which, again, was his third in the past 13 months. After the game, Coach K was hardly the picture of the virtuous "teacher" of pious value he so often projects himself to be. Instead in what's become something of a recurring theme he projected arrogance, defensiveness and smarminess in speaking with reporters.
"I handle things the way I handle them," Krzyzewski said, per Yahoo Sports. "I think Ive handled this correctly, and moving forward, I will continue to handle it correctly. I dont need to satisfy what other people think I should do. Im a teacher and a coach, and Im responsible for that kid. I know him better than anybody, and so to think that its the last thing thats said about this to him is wrong."
Krzyzewski continued that, "Obviously, we will do more" to reprimand Allen, but added the caveat Wednesday night that it "doesnt mean that you have to see it or anybody else has to see it."
By Thursday morning after outrage, amusement and concern about Allen's repeat outbursts had come to dominate the sports news cycle Duke announced Allen had been suspended indefinitely by Krzyzewski. Still, though, simple and genuine humility from Coach K would prove too much to ask.
A cringeworthy interview
In a Thursday morning interview with Dan Patrick, Coach K again came off as arrogant, dismissive, petulant and sanctimonious.
Things go south shortly after the 1:30 mark of the clip embedded atop this section. That's when Krzyzewski calls Patrick "naive" and awkwardly tries to shift the discussion from one about Allen's antics to a general discussion about how "human beings do human things."
It's eye-roll inducing stuff, and a cringeworthy listen. Unfortunately, it's also not very surprising from a coach for whom holier-than-thou posturing has become all too standard.
Remember, this is the man who saw fit to briefly lecture another coach's player after a March Madness loss last season then lied about having done so when asked about the encounter by reporters. This is also the man who, in a real head-scratcher, saw fit two years ago to publicly criticize President Obama's strategy for fighting ISIS. (Yes, you read that last sentence correctly.)
To be sure, Krzyzewski is a historically great coach. He's revered by many former players, and for good reason. His accomplishments speak for themselves, and he keeps on winning. But Coach K's attitude in the aftermath of Wednesday night's latest trip by Allen also speaks volumes.
Like an aging rock god or action-movie star, Coach K appears to increasingly become a caricature of himself as the years pass. Unfortunately, it's the more obnoxious parts of his persona that of late seem to shine through most.