Mike Krzyzewski reveals worst coaching day of his career during retirement presser

Mike Krzyzewski has spent 41 seasons coaching Duke. He's experienced plenty of success over that period, winning five national championships and making 12 Final Four appearances. 

He's also experienced some crushing losses. But if you thought any of those losses resulted in Krzyzewski's worst day as a coach, you are wrong.

Krzyzewski revealed at a retirement presser Thursday his worst day as a coach didn't come with Duke, it came with the men's Olympic basketball team.

Mike Krzyzewski says losing to Greece in 2006 in the world championships was "the worst day of my life in coaching. The worst day. I wanted to end it."

— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) June 3, 2021

The loss occurred during the semifinals of the world championships in 2006. The U.S. men's basketball team — which features superstars like LeBron James, Dwight Howard and Dwyane Wade — were upset by Greece 101-95. The loss dropped Team USA to the bronze medal game against Argentina. Team USA won that game, taking home the bronze medal. It was a disappointment considering the team's talent and expectations heading into the Olympics. 

Mike Krzyzewski makes curious entrance at presser

Some aspects of Krzyzewski's presser were revealing and touching. Krzyzewski choked up when talking about former Duke athletic director Tom Butters.

Coach K: "The guy who believed in me the most was Tom Butters… My opportunities were followed with belief." pic.twitter.com/66vnTAawUc

— Duke Men’s Basketball (@DukeMBB) June 3, 2021

Butters died in 2016. He served as Duke's athletic director from 1977 to 1997.

Krzyzewski also pushed back on the rumor that he was retiring due to changes coming to college basketball.

Mike Krzyzewski pushes back on report that he’s retiring due changing landscape of college sports. "It’s certainly not about what’s going on with college basketball, where, boy, the game’s changing. All right. I’ve been in for 46 years. You mean the game’s never changed?"

— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) June 3, 2021

A report surfaced Wednesday suggesting Krzyzewski's retirement timeline was sped up by athletes being able to control their name and image.

There was one part of the presser that drew raised eyebrows from those not associated with Duke. Krzyzewski entered the press conference to "Everytime We Touch" by Cascada. It seemed like an unusual choice.

I don’t know what I was expecting but it certainly wasn’t Mike Krzyzewski entering his retirement press conference dancing to Everytime We Touch by Cascada pic.twitter.com/yfkWgMITcV

— Clara Goodwin (@ClaraGoodwinTV) June 3, 2021

There's history behind that decision. The song became a popular rallying cry at Duke around 2006. Duke fans embraced the song, and the team was still playing it until at least 2017.

Duke announced Wednesday that Krzyzewski, 74, will retire following the 2021-22 season. Duke assistant coach Jon Scheyer could be selected as Krzyzewski's replacement.

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