DURHAM, NC – Nearly 100 former players, including Duke legends Grant Hill, Jason Williams, Shane Battier and Christian Latner, lined up on the field at Cameron Indoor Stadium to welcome coach Mike Krzyewski for the last time on Saturday, as the Blue Devils concluded their regular games. The season – and the coach’s legendary home run – against rival North Carolina.
Cameron Endor may have rolled out an official red carpet for the occasion.
While the game itself has been the subject of much interest in the standings – Duke has already won his first ACC regular-season singles title since 2006 – the demand for tickets to see Krzyzewski coach for his last home game has been staggering, with an average price of about $6000 accordingly. to StubHub.
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DukeMBB men’s basketball March 5, 2022
In addition to the 96 former players who showed up to watch Krzyzewski’s exit, a host of stars from sports and Hollywood were in the stands as well.
Fans cheered as comedian Jerry Seinfeld and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver sat next to each other, waving at the video board. Sitcom stars Ken Jeong and Rita sat courtside along the baseline. Toronto Raptors coach Nick Norris, former Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki and Hall of Fame receiver Terrell Owens also attended.
But it wasn’t the celebrities who stole the moment more than the crowd—a crowded house over an hour before tip-off, buzzing with energy—and the extended Duke family who stole the show for Krzyzewski.
The former players formed a tunnel leading from one corner of the baseline to the central area, and with Krzyzewski’s announcement, the crowd erupted. The 75-year-old, who coached his first game here in November 1980, has made his way through the battalion of ex-players, tapping his chest, banging his fist or engaging in hugs. Many of them carried cell phones aloft, recording the moment for posterity.
After Krzyzewski made his way to the end of class, the group gathered in the central area for a family reunion photo.
“Alcohol enthusiast. Twitter ninja. Tv lover. Falls down a lot. Hipster-friendly coffee geek.”