Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak was an NBA journeyman for more than a decade before he entered the coaching ranks.
He played for six NBA squads, a tenure that included a lengthy stretch with the Milwaukee Bucks.
The bicycle thief he captured on Saturday might not have known that. But he clearly recognized that it probably wasn’t a good idea to run from the 6-foot-9, 220-pound man.
Krystkowiak saw the man riding a bike while towing another. Seemed odd to the Utes head coach.
So, he …
Upon approaching the man, he forced him to sit on the sidewalk and called campus police, who discovered five stolen phones in his bag upon arrival.
"The guy asked me if I was going to chase him if he attempted to run," Krystkowiak said Saturday night. "I told him that if he tried to run, I was going to chase him and tackle him. Honestly, I was hoping that he’d run. I guess a good thief would’ve run before I caught up to him."
The incident began at 7:30 a.m. when Krystkowiak was walking to the basketball offices to prepare for basketball practice — the Utes officially started on Friday afternoon in preparation of the new season, now five weeks away.
According to Krystkowiak, the man was riding a bike while holding another bike, which seemed odd. That’s when he decided to approach the man.
"He started telling me all kinds of stories," Krystkowiak said. "I guess it was a good way to start the day."
The moral of the story? Don’t mess with a guy who played in the NBA during the ’80s and early ’90s. The rules were different then.
The Detroit Pistons tried to harm Michael Jordan whenever they played the Chicago Bulls. The New York Knicks had guys like Anthony Mason and Charles Oakley, who would have fought in the UFC if it had been prominent then.
Krystkowiak battled these men every night in the league. You had to be tough to survive.
That bicycle thief is lucky Krystkowiak didn’t have a flashback. Yes, he would’ve tackled him. Or worse.
There weren’t any refs around to stop him.
On Twitter, the coach called himself “Barney Fife.” Nah.
More like “Blade.”