Duke's Krzyzewski: Intense hip pain could have ended his career - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Duke's Krzyzewski: Intense hip pain could have ended his career

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Duke University basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski said the pain in his hip was so severe he wouldn’t have continued coaching without hip replacement surgery, he said Thursday in an interview with WNCN anchor Phil Sanchez.

Krzyzewski is speaking out about his hips, which were reconstructed 15 and 13 years ago, as part of a campaign by DePuy Orthopaedics to honor people who have joint replacement and give back to their communities.

Krzyzewski also touched on a number of other topics in his discussion with Sanchez. He praised former Duke star Jabari Parker as a special player and said he understood why Parker would want to leave for this summer’s NBA Draft.

Here’s a transcript of the interview with Krzyzewski:

Krzyzewski: “I feel honored to be a part of the DePuy Synthes Joint Reconstruction campaign, getting back to giving back. I’ve had both of my hips replaced – reconstructed – and I’ve never had any problems for the last 15 years with one and 13 years with the other.

“DePuy Synthes has told great stories, inspiring stories of people who have had joint reconstruction around the country but who have given back to their communities as a result of getting their movement back and their energy back.” [the website is gettingbacktogivingback.com]

“I couldn’t coach very well. In the 1998-99 season, there were many times at practice where I just had to sit on a stool. And you lost energy because you were fighting pain all the time. I don’t think I would have continued to coach – I don’t think I would have been capable of coaching – if I didn’t have my hip reconstructed.

“So it gave me a new lease on my career. I would not have been a national championship coach two more times or a national coach and coach in the Olympics if I had not had this done. So there really was no choice for me. Either you put up with pain and lose your career or you get it done.”

“I’m so glad I got it done. I wish I’d gotten it done earlier.”

Question: Why did you decide to remain the U.S. national coach and coach the Olympics again?

Krzyzewski: “It’s a big time commitment, a lot of pressure, but it’s very rewarding, especially if you can see those gold medals around the necks of your players.”

Question: What’s your reaction to Jabari Parker turning pro after one year?

Krzyzewski: “We were lucky to have Jabari for the one year. He’s an outstanding young man, a good student and a heck of a player. Obviously you’d like for him to stay longer but you can’t pass up on the opportunity to be one of the top picks in the NBA. He’s out in L.A. right now working out for the NBA Draft and I think he’ll do very well.

“As far as the one and done is concerned, it’s something that may go away in a few years. The NBA would like to see it be 20 and two – two years in college and 20 years of age. But they have to have the cooperation of the players’ union to make that effective.

“But you really don’t know if a kid is going to go or not when you recruit them. But if they are that good and have that opportunity, you shouldn’t to deny them that opportunity. That sets up their whole life and their career is only going to be, if they are lucky, 15 years. It’s not like being a doctor, lawyer or a coach. We do this all the time. They have a short window of opportunity and if that window can be opened a little bit earlier, more power to them – they should go for it.

Question: Have you talked to new NBA commissioner Adam Silver, a Duke graduate?

Krzyzewski: “I actually have talked to Adam because he’s involved with our USA Basketball program. He’s a huge, huge supporter of it and has helped us tremendously. He was placed in a very difficult situation with the Clippers. I think he’s handled it extremely well.

“He was David Stern’s right-hand man for a long time and he’s a brilliant guy and a good guy. He’s also been outspoken about being closer with the collegiate community, which I think has never been done before, that outreach.”

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