Archive for Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Knight always did what he thought was right

February 6, 2008


Knight retires; Self saddened

Shocking news from Lubbock, Texas last night: Red Raiders head coach Bob Knight retired, effective immediately. His son, Pat, will take over. Enlarge video

Pick a list regarding coaching and Bob Knight was at the top of it or not far away.

Victories. National championships. Tirades. Respect. Loathing.

What Knight did while running a college basketball program or a U.S. national team always made headlines - good and bad.

How he interacted with others, whether they played for him, worked for him, coached against him, officiated his games or tried to report on him, added to the complex persona he developed over a lifetime of basketball.

The one thing he made sure everybody knew right away was that he really didn't care what you thought of him.

But if he respected you, you and others knew it. His loyalty to mentors such as Fred Taylor and Pete Newell never wavered. His long relationships with former players such as Steve Alford, Quinn Buckner and Isiah Thomas stayed strong well after their eligibility ended. Even through feuds - real and imagined - Knight always spoke highly of those he let in his inner circle.

Whenever Knight makes headlines there's a package of video highlights ready to roll - the chair he sent flying across the court and his contorted face after being asked a question before a NCAA Tournament game that contained the phrase "game face."

The list of public transgressions goes on as long as the list of his coaching accomplishments.

Does a tossed chair negate a national championship? Does the tape of a practice when he allegedly grabbed a player by the throat wipe out the most victories in Division I history? Does a confrontation with a police officer in Puerto Rico offset an Olympic gold medal?

That will be the debate about Knight long after Monday's decision to resign as the coach at Texas Tech. When do victories and titles outweigh boorishness and bullying?

But being Bob Knight means you can throw a wrench into that discussion.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.