Syracuse men’s basketball head coach Jim Boeheim has been hiding out in his doomsday bunker ever since the news of Coach K’s impending retirement dropped Thursday.
Boeheim, 76, has coached the Orange since the Ford administration, but he’s now concerned for his future. On April 1, Roy Williams announced his retirement after 33 seasons of coaching, and Mike Krzyzewski declared the 2021-22 campaign would be his final one after 47 years in the game. Boeheim knows what comes next.
“They’ve come for Roy and K,” he whispered to me over the phone as I tried to convince him to let me see his doomsday bunker, which I’d heard was pretty sweet. “Now They’re coming for all of us.”
After an hour of feigning empathy, Boeheim was finally comfortable with allowing me into his bunker. I was determined to get to the bottom of why he was so worried, what he was so worried about, and whether or not the rumors of his sick movie theater setup with its own legit popcorn machine was true or not.
Days later, I was lounging luxuriously in the nicest doomsday bunker I’d ever been in.
“Roy and K, they’re good men,” Boeheim muttered as he sat on the gorgeous leather couch across from the authentic Z-Chair for Sawaya & Moroni that I fell in love with at first sight, with a high ceiling, handcrafted stone fireplace, and tasteful upscale decor surrounding us. “Izzo, McKillop, me – it’s impossible to know who’s next. It’s Dangerous for men like us now.”
Boeheim ignored my question about if he had a legit movie theater in the bunker or not, which was disappointing.
“We thought we defeated them in the 70s, but they’re back,” Jim Boeheim said, leaning back and looking up to the ceiling to ask for help from a higher power. “The God damn hippies are back.”
But Raymond Tortuga is no quitter. I stood up and said I was a bit peckish, offering the idea of a nice popcorn snack to tackle my hunger.
“Yes, I happen to have a popcorn machine actually,” Boeheim said, unknowingly bending to the whim of my manipulation. “The machine is in my movie theater. It’s pretty tight.”
Slightly surprised by his use of 90s slang but very okay with it, I followed Boeheim through the twisting tunnels of his doomsday bunker. After a multi-minute stroll, we arrived at a set of white double doors. As Boeheim swung them open, he revealed the sickest home movie theater I’d ever seen. There was this huge projector screen that had to be at least, like, 25-feet long, and the 12 chairs were all velvet and cushy and stuff. And then the popcorn machine was really real, you guys! It was over in the front in the corner near the dimmed floor lights so you could go refill your popcorn without having to pause the movie.
My journalism career was finally worth it.
Jim Boeheim started getting a batch of popcorn ready while I lifted up some armrests and sprawled out across three chairs, fully embracing my new digs.
“I have something I want you to see,” Boeheim said.
After preparing the popcorn, Boeheim turned on the projector, blasting me to 4K bliss. The soothing sounds, creative colors, and chairs’ cavern of comfort sunk me deeper and deeper into my theater bed. Two hours later, I awoke from my nap to credits scrolling along the massive screen in front of me.
“So, now you understand everything,” Boeheim said from the back of the theater. “You understand why the hippies must be stopped, and you understand how they’ll destroy basketball.”
Yep, I nodded, but it would be cool if he could just give me a quick recap of what happened just to be totally sure.
“Hubert and Scheyer are merely hippy puppets,” Boeheim explained intently. “I fought them off before. You think Mike Hopkins was a coincidence?
“There’s more going on than it seems. Roy and K are the biggest dominoes to fall yet. No one thought they could ever get to them. None of us are safe now.”
Bob Huggins suddenly appeared in the doorway wearing nothing but a robe and slippers with a coffee in one hand and a plate of pancakes in the other.
“Hey Jim, what’s up for dinner?” he asked in between pancake bites, his lips smacking with syrup with every word. “And have you come up with any other ideas for how to deal with the hippies?”
Without turning around, Boeheim responded.
“I don’t know man, talk to Juli,” he said, a hint of annoyance in his voice. “And no, I don’t have any plans. You’re welcome to help out with that, by the way.
“Help with anything would be nice,” he murmured under his breath.
Huggins turned and left without saying anything else, visibly frustrating Boeheim even more.
“I let this man come here a few days ago, because he’s in serious danger of falling to a hippy, too,” Jim Boeheim said, unloading his emotional baggage on me. “But he hasn’t done anything but lay around and mooch. I’m starting to think he’s already one of them.”
I asked how long Boeheim planned to stay in the bunker. After all, he had to come out at some point, right? He has a basketball team to coach.
“Oh, I have plenty of time before I have to do that,” Boeheim said. “I never start coaching until February.”
But what if the hippies aren’t defeated by then?
Boeheim came close, putting his face inches away from mine and forcefully locking eyes with me, a stern seriousness washing over him. Suddenly, I understood how Tony Bennett felt in 2016.
“Don’t you understand?” he asked, shaking me subtly. “There won’t be any basketball left to go back to!”
As I left Boeheim’s super sweet doomsday bunker, I reflected on the day’s events. Were hippies really trying to destroy basketball from within? Will the sport collapse without infallible angels like Coach K and Roy Williams around? Was that Bob Huggins’ robe, or did he steal one from Boeheim, which would be kinda gross and pretty rude?
I left with more questions than answers, but I did know one thing for sure: Jim Boeheim has the dopest doomsday bunker of all time.