People have problems spelling Coach K’s last name. Even his own players.
An appearance on ESPN's Get Up! show on Thursday morning indicates Jayson Tatum, the former Duke Blue Devil turned NBA star rookie for the Boston Celtics, is on that list.
As a sidebar to the National Spelling Bee finale, ESPN analyst and fellow former Blue Devil Jay Williams asked Tatum, “Can you tell me on national TV, how do you spell Krzyzewski?”
Tatum put his hand over his mouth, and then said, “This is bad timing.”
He then played a little guess and check, starting with “K-y” and then flipping to “K-r.”
“I called him Coach K,” Tatum explained.
Show host Mike Greenberg then asked Williams to give it a shot, which he did successfully.
“I’ve only been saying it for like 15 years,” Williams said.
Tatum, who helped lead the Celtics to the Eastern Conference finals, was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team on May 22, joining the 76ers Ben Simmons, the Jazz’s Donovan Mitchell, the Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma and the Bulls’ Lauri Markkanen.
He is a finalist for the NBA Rookie of the Year award, along with Simmons and Mitchell.
Tatum was the third overall pick out of Duke in the 2017 draft.