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Coach K turns back the clock on USA, Russia

Updated at 1:30 p.m.

Kevin Durant scored 33 points as the United States beat Russia 89-79 in the FIBA World Championships in Istanbul.

Filed at 10:42 a.m.

It's not quite the Cold War II, but Mike Krzyzewski's comments about David Blatt's patriotism were bound to create some controversy. Especially as the United States and Russia prepare to play at 11 a.m. EDT on the 38th anniversary of the Olympic game between the two countries.

Krzyzewski, coach of the U.S. team playing in the FIBA tournament, said that David Blatt, coach of the Russian basketball team, was less than patriotic for saying the U.S. Olympic team was not jobbed and robbed in a loss to the U.S.S.R. in 1972. Blatt fired back at Coach K on Thursday morning.

"I think Mike's overlooked the fact that I'm every bit as much of an American as him," Blatt told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. "In America, we're taught that freedom of speech and freedom of thought allow us to try and view things objectively, form our own opinions and express them."

Blatt, who has coached the Russian team for six years, holds dual American-Israeli citizenship.

On Wednesday, Krzyzewski mocked a story Blatt told about crying after the '72 game as a teenager -- back when he thought the Americans wuz robbed.

"He's Russian," Krzyzewski told reporters. "He coaches the Russian team. So he probably has that viewpoint. His eyes are clearer now because there are no tears in them."

Spices up an otherwise lackluster quarterfinal matchup in the FIBA World Championships, anyway.

By Cindy Boren  |  September 9, 2010; 10:42 AM ET
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For chrissakes, its CRY-shev-ski... Only in Poland would K-R-Y be pronounced "Sha"... I don't care if he's Team USA's coach. F Duke.

Posted by: BillStoner | September 9, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Blatt has the freedom to have that opinion. He also has the freedom to be a jerk and someone who doesn't trust what his eyes saw because now the Russians pay his bills. He is a man for rent, not unlike a lady of the night.

Posted by: GeneWells | September 16, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

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