Coach K Breaks Up On-Court Tussle After Team USA Beats Lithuania

We thought the potential for on-court drama involving Team USA in the FIBA World Cup mostly died after France stunned the basketball world by beating host nation and American rival Spain in the quarterfinals yesterday. Well, we were at least sort of right. As the clock ticked to zeros in the United States’ ho-hum semifinal win over Lithuania today, a minor fracas involving several opposing players broke out on the floor. The keeper of peace? You guessed it – Team USA coach and Army man Mike Krzyzewski.

It’s unclear what precipitated the skirmish. As you’ll see below, the United States’ Klay Thompson and Andre Drummond and Lithuania’s Darjus Lavrinovic appear to be the parties at fault. What isn’t up for debate is who played peacekeeper.

That’s Krzyzewski right in the middle of the fray, all 5-10 and 67 years of him. Size and age notwithstanding, this is the face of a man with whom it is best not to trifle:


Partial means for the discord was surely due to an incident involving DeMarcus Cousins and Jonas Valanciunas. The Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors behemoths nearly came to blows in the second quarter after Cousins took exception to an elbow Valanciunas gave to his neck while the two battled for rebounding position. Let’s just say our reaction to either a Valanciunas elbow or Cousins bluff punch would have been far, far different than theirs:

The Americans are a feisty group. And unfortunately for France or Serbia, they’ll surely be especially amped-up for Sunday’s championship game, too.

(GIFs via _MarcusD_)

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