During a 2011 interview with Duke University’s Academy of Management Learning & Education, Duke’s Men’s Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski was asked the question: “How do you handle ‘derailers,’ people who cause problems…such people (wh0) exhibit a lack of integrity or they are unable to see what the world looks like through any eyes other than their own, or they bring out the worst in their teammates. So imagine that somebody passed the recruiting screen and now you’ve got a sophomore or a junior who is a derailer and is souring the team. Do we try to save him or do we kick him off?”
It’s an interesting question in light of this week’s dismissal of junior guard Rasheed Sulaimon. Coach K answered the interviewer: “You save him…A kid can get side-tracked, and he might be a derailer because of insecurity or for any of a number of reasons. Saving a kid is important, because it might just be that he lost his starting job, or he’s discovered that he’s not good enough no matter how hard he works.” Coach K said he would ask him “Why would you do these things? Tell me. I’m going to try to understand.” You have to believe he asked Rasheed Sulaimon. And the answers weren’t good.