Bucks Diary

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Requiem for a hard working coach who deserved better


I caught a bad flu bug, so I'm not really in thinking, writing, or existing mode right now. But I wanted to write a few words about a guy I respected who was put in an impossible situation, former Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak.

Coach K deserved better, and he shall rise again. He's a good coach.

As I wrote the other day, I am an unreconstructed hoopist. Often, what I see of a guy operating on the court is what I make of him off the court. And so what I saw of Coach K in his playing days colors my view of him today.

What I saw then was a marginally talented guy who through blood, toil, tears, and sweat became a very productive NBA player for some successful Bucks teams. He did all he could for the Green and Red and he left a lot of himself (including his knee ligaments) on the court when his days as an active Milwaukee Buck had finished.

I saw the same thing, only with more disturbing results, when he was the team's coach. I saw a man who was slowly dying in a job he wanted so badly to succeed at, and that he worked so hard to succeed at, but which he was never given the tools he needed to succeed at. It clearly ate away at him. Watching the postgame after last night's finale in the Twin Cities, I was shocked to see how ravaged he looked... he looks as though he hasn't ate or slept in months. For his family's sake, today's announcement may have therefore been a good thing.

At any rate, I just wanted to have a nice word for a good coach who will get a second chance and I am sure will succeed when that second chance comes.

Coach K, thank you for your effort, and as my Italian friends say... Salut!

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