|Also pictured: Rollie Massamino, John Thompson and Lou Carnesecca|
Sometimes, a man knows when to step off the stage.
Check the ending of The Lord of Rings. (The real ending, not the six or seven extras from the last movie). Frodo knows the world is changing. Middle-Earth is no place for him any more. It’s time to move on, and so off he goes to Elfland, or, as those of us not living in the Third Age call it, “retirement in Boca Raton”.
Maybe this will change. Maybe a deep NCAA tournament run will revive him. Maybe he’ll discover an uncontrollable desire for Easter Carolina-style BBQ and the chance to pummel Virginia Tech twice a year. Maybe the possibility of the combined sideline barking in a game where he coaches against Mike Krzyzewski actually reducing on-court officials to madness and tears will intrigue him. Maybe he’ll just like going into a weaker basketball conference.
But yesterday, Boeheim didn’t sound like a guy who was looking forward to any of that. He sounded like a guy who was headed to Elfland. And when he goes, we’ll miss him.