Duke Basketball Legend Carlos Boozer Reacts to Mike Krzyzewski's Final Season With Blue Devils (Exclusive)

Last summer, Mike Krzyzewski announced that the 2021-22 season would be his final one as the head coach of the Duke men's basketball team after joining the squad in 1980. Despite putting together a legendary career, some people are surprised to see Coach K hang it up while still at the top of his game. PopCulture.com recently caught up with Carlos Boozer who played for Coach K in the early 2000s and shared his thoughts on Krzyzewski retiring after the season comes to an end. 

"I was surprised when it got announced about a year ago. I was taken back. I just didn't expect it," Boozer exclusively told PopCulture. "I'm 40 years old. I've been watching college basketball since I was 11. And I can't remember a time where [the] coach wasn't on the sideline. This past year, we lost — we're losing some greats. Roy Williams has always been a staple in college basketball as well. He retired. Now Coach K is retiring. There'll be more guys that have been around for a long time stepping down. So it's a new face, a new era, a new time for college basketball."

Boozer also talked about how much of an impact Coach K made on Duke and college basketball. "We're going to lose one of the best basketball minds and best leader ever to walk the earth," Boozer continued. "But at the same time, he'll be around. His legacy will live on forever, not just at Duke basketball, but basketball in general. He was one of the advocates for the NIL for players to get paid with for their likeness. So he was a big advocate at pushing that forward because a lot of players get taken advantage of, and he wasn't of that. So definitely proud of what he's able to accomplish. And he'll be around."

Boozer played for Krzyzewski from 1999 to 2002 and helped the team win the national championship in 2001. He went on to play in the NBA for 13 years, and during that time Boozer played on the Olympic men's basketball team in 2004 and 2008. Coach K was the head coach on the 2008 team and led Team USA to a gold medal. Overall, Krzyzewski won three Olympic gold medals, 13 ACC regular-season championships, 15 ACC tournament championships and five national championships. 

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"I think he's right at the top," Boozer said when asked where Coach K ranks among the all-time great coaches in all of sports. "I think what he is able to accomplish in 42 years, not only won five NCAA championships but countless ACC championships. He also revitalized USA basketball, won three gold medals with the USA team. The great thing about Coach K, and I tell this to people all the time, is he has a remarkable ability to be able to combine people's talents, kind of strip them of their individual egos, and have a collective ego as a team. Very hard to do."  Fans can watch the 2022 NCAA Tournament on CBS, truTV, TNT and TBS.