TOKYO -- It was a hot and miserable September night in 2006 when Mike Krzyzewski was in the tunnel at the Saitama Super Arena, experiencing one of the darkest moments in his storied coaching career.
The 2006 FIBA World Championship were supposed to have been the grand restart to USA Basketball after embarrassing losses in the 2002 worlds and the 2004 Olympics. Instead, Team USA was shockingly upset by Greece in the semifinals, as the Greeks outplayed, out-executed and even outcoached the Americans.
On the slow walk toward the locker room, Krzyzewski's eyes met those of Jerry Colangelo, who'd been tapped to rebuild USA Basketball and had personally chosen the Duke coach as the man to execute his vision. Upon seeing Colangelo, all Krzyzewski could do was mouth "I'm sorry."
"That was the worst moment in my coaching career," Krzyzewski says. "I'll forever thank Jerry for having the belief in me after we lost."