The spillover effect of Mike Krzyzewski’s participation with Team USA to the other members of Duke’s staff has been one of the unexpected benefits of the head coach’s Olympic tenure. Krzyzewski brought Chris Collins and Steve Wojciechowski with him to Beijing and London, and Jeff Capel is coming to Rio. Video coordinator Kevin Cullen, meanwhile, has been a part of the staff for all three Olympics.
The NBA finally ran out of patience with Gov. Pat McCrory and the North Carolina legislature and yanked the 2017 All-Star Game away from Charlotte after the powers that be failed to repeal House Bill 2. Faced with that act of political will by the NBA, the ACC now has no choice but to start pulling its events from its home state as well.
Thursday’s official announcement of a reworked television deal with ESPN that includes the 2019 launch of an ACC Network cable channel marks a major turning point for the ACC, which had long sought and was long unable to secure a network of its own.
So much has been discussed and written and dissected about how coaching the Olympians, and his increased exposure to the international and NBA game, has changed the way Mike Krzyzewski coaches (and recruits) at Duke. Less has been said about how Krzyzewski has successfully adapted his approach to the professionals he coaches for a brief period every two years – a group of elite NBA players who did not play at Duke, other than Kyrie Irving, and in many cases never considered playing there.
With the opportunity to look at Brandon Ingram and Kevin Durant side by side, a comparison that seemed plausible watching Ingram compete against collegians almost seems laughable. Then again, who better to assess the similarities than Durant? When he looks at Ingram, the Kinston native who starred at Duke last season, he sees a lot of himself.
The inextricable careers of Harrison Barnes and Kyrie Irving are once again intertwined on the U.S. Olympic team. As sought-after recruits, they became friends before choosing opposite sides of the Duke-North Carolina rivalry, yet never met on the court in college, nor did either make it to the Final Four. The NBA has been kinder to both: Two years ago, Barnes beat Irving for the NBA title. Earlier this summer, Irving beat Barnes for the title.
After six years of deliberation and discussion, the ACC is close to an updated television deal with ESPN that will include the long-awaited ACC cable channel as well as innovative “over-the-top” components, content delivered directly to viewers via the Internet, known as OTT.
This was already going to be a big day for the Carolina RailHawks before the name “Omar Bravo” crossed anyone’s minds. The Triangle’s first-ever visit from an English Premiership team on Tuesday, one that doesn’t figure to be the last, was no trifling matter. By the time team president Curt Johnson started dropping hints on Twitter late Monday night of a marquee signing, West Ham’s visit had been forced to share the Triangle soccer spotlight.
Brittany Lang had her chance to win in dramatic fashion with a birdie putt to capture the U.S. Women’s Open on the 18th green. She ended up winning in a substantially less dramatic way when her playoff opponent, Anna Nordqvist, was called for a retroactive two-stroke penalty.
Nothing will compare to an actual, for-real, counts-in-the-standings Major League Baseball game played within the borders, and in a temporary stadium constructed at Ft. Bragg, no less. What happens there on Sunday between the Atlanta Braves and Florida Marlins will trump everything that came before it and, presumably, after it for a very long time.
It was a day as notable for who the Carolina Hurricanes didn’t sign as who they did. While the Hurricanes added depth forwards Lee Stempniak and Viktor Stalberg as free agents and sat out a high-dollar market that was even more frenzied than usual, the Eric Staal chapter of Hurricanes history officially closed when he signed with the Minnesota Wild.
Few people dominate the landscape of a sport so as to become synonymous with it, inseparable from it even after they’ve left the scene as an athlete or coach. To lose three of them in the space of a month is unfathomable. First it was Gordie Howe. Then Muhammad Ali. And Tuesday morning, Pat Summitt at only 64, taken so quickly by Alzheimer’s disease, only four years after it forced her to retire as the winningest college basketball coach.
The weekend ended without a goalie trade, leaving Cam Ward and Eddie Lack in place as the Hurricanes’ tandem. It ended without the Hurricanes picking up Pavel Datsyuk’s contract, the Detroit Red Wings instead dumping the departed forward’s salary-cap hit on the Arizona Coyotes and their 27-year-old general manager for far less than many thought it would cost. And it ended without the Hurricanes making a deal of any kind, instead proceeding through an entirely ordinary weekend.
When LeBron James decided to pass on the Olympics on Thursday, having captured his third NBA title in his sixth straight trip to the finals, Mike Krzyzewski’s response was one of acceptance: “He’s served.”
There is no more liquid currency in the NHL than draft picks, and the Carolina Hurricanes are swimming in them. With six of the first 75 picks, including two in the first round, they have the currency to make some big moves this weekend.