‘Lowest Moment’: Duke Blue Devils’ Mike Krzyzewski Reveals Worst Loss of His Coaching Career

Published 06/05/2021, 1:14 PM EDT
Jun 3, 2021; Durham, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski answers a question at a press conference at Cameron Indoor Stadium announcing his plan to retire after the 2021-22 season. Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports


Duke Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski recently announced that he will retire after this season. It will mark 47 years of coaching for him before he finally bids adieu to the sport.

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In his coaching career, Krzyzewski has not only coached the Blue Devils but also the USA basketball team. In fact, he recently revealed how his worst ever loss as a coach came with the latter.

He said, “The lowest moment I’ve had with coaching was with USA Basketball. When we we lost in 2006 to Greece in Tokyo. And then we won after that every game… so that was the lowest. Yeah (we let down the country)… I mean, you’re coaching the United States team.”

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Krzyzewski had joined the USA basketball set up back in the 1980s. He had been part of many great teams like the Dream Team and had seen many iconic wins. But one can see how that one loss from 2006 still hurts him. It is easily one of the worst, if not the worst loss in the history of USA Basketball.

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USA vs Greece, FIBA World Championship 2006: The worst game for Mike Krzyzewski

Krzyzewski was referring to the USA vs Greece game from the 2006 FIBA World Championship. In the group stages, they blew out every team and stomped into the knockout stages. After beating Australia in the round of 16, they took down Dirk Nowitzki’s Germany in the quarterfinals.

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They were now up against Greece in the semifinal, who were also undefeated like them at that stage. It was predicted to be an easy win for the tournament favorites USA. Greece started strongly and right from the first half they held the lead. They were resilient all game and played team basketball unlike USA and eventually pulled off the upset.

Greece won 101-96, to knock out USA out of the FIBA World Championship. The team had LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony but they fell to the minnows. USA won the bronze medal after winning their next game against Argentina, but that loss was a tough one to digest.

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That was only the second time Krzyzewski missed out on gold with Team USA. It will forever be an embarrassing loss for USA Basketball.

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Aaron Mathew

1666 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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