May 27th, 2010
12:43 PM ET
12 years ago

Coach K gets 'payback' from Obama

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption ="President Obama with Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski."]Washington (CNN) - As he welcomed Duke men's basketball team - the NCAA winners - to the White House, President Barack Obama preemptively made light of his pick for last year's tournament - Duke's arch-rival the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.

"Now, I know that all of you remember last year, when I filled out my bracket. I picked North Carolina to win it all. It wasn't anything personal. Just trying to win some money. I was right. Coach K wasn't too happy. He basically told me to stick it. Or stick to my day job, is what he said," referring to Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who was standing next to the president in the Rose Garden.

"And then, this year, he went out with all these guys and he won, so he could come to the White House and crow about it. Payback is sweet, isn't it, Coach? Congratulations on your fourth National Championship at Duke."

This year the president chose Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky and Villanova to make the Final Four

One thing the two men have in common: some advice they have given to Reggie Love, who used to play for Duke and is now the president's assistant.

"Coach and I were both discussing - I play with Reggie now, and when Reggie was playing, Coach said, don't shoot. And when he's on my team, I say to Reggie, don't shoot. So things haven't changed that much. Go down in the post, rebound," the president said to a roar of laughter from the audience.


Filed under: Basketball • President Obama