Mike Krzyzewski says he’s behind Kyrie Irving ‘all the way’

Mike Krzyzewski Kyrie Irving
Duke Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is not a bad person to have in your corner, and for Kyrie Irving, the famed basketball coach is firmly behind him.

Irving has been the focus of controversy because he remains one of the few NBA players that has not gotten vaccinated, which has kept him from playing games at the Barclays Center. Krzyzewski coached Irving for one season at Duke in 2010-11 and told NJ.com that he supported Irving in his decision to do what’s best for himself when it came to the vaccine.

“I love Kyrie and he should follow his heart in what he’s doing,” Krzyzewski said. “And figure out how that impacts the group that he’s with and then you make decisions on what you feel is right, what you feel the group needs and so I hope that that’s what takes place but I’ll be behind him all the way.”

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Ironically, in less than a month Krzyzewski will be at Barclays Center coaching Duke in the final ACC tournament of his career.

Irving has not stepped onto the court in Brooklyn this season and has only eight games left that he’s eligible for the regular season. Irving and the Nets have remained optimistic that the city would lift its vaccine mandate, which would allow for Irving to play his first game at the Barclays Center since June 7, 2021.

“I still wish I could be out there at home,” Irving said recently. “And some people say it’s as simple as, ‘Hey, go get this, go get the shot.’ No, it’s not as simple as that for me in my life, but ultimately, still praying for a better outcome.”

While Coach K said that he’s behind Irving, he didn’t want to go further with NJ.com about his former player.

“I’m 75 now, so I’m just glad I have thoughts and can express them to people so I really try not to have thoughts on too many people,” Krzyzewski said.