Bob Knight was on a fishing trip. An expensive fishing trip. The kind that requires a float plane up in the great Northwest where conditions are rugged, cold and isolated.
Many years ago, Knight was with a friend and they were killing it. Just slaying the fish. So much so that Coach did not want to leave when the float plane returned to bring the crew back to the main camp at dusk.
The friend told the pilot, who was waiting in the cockpit, “Coach isn’t ready to leave yet.”
The pilot climbed out of his plane, and walked down the narrow path where the basketball coach was fishing.
“Listen,” the pilot told Knight, “you have me confused with someone who gives a (bleep). Either you get on the plane right now or I’m not getting you until tomorrow.”
The pilot walked back to his plane, and Knight quickly followed.
It’s a shame the pilot didn’t leave him there.
Bob Knight is not a fascinating figure, and whatever redeemable qualities he has are erased by the fact he is one-way street, self-important brat who deserves all of the rancor, scorn, mock and ridicule he is receiving.
The former Indiana and Texas Tech basketball coach’s latest reminder that he is still alive and crying is a good time to wish he would simply get lost. A sports wish is to never hear another interview from this man.
Showtime is preparing to air a documentary on the story behind Knight’s finest team — the 1975-’76 group that finished 32-0. It is the last major team to go undefeated.
Accordingly, Knight is making some of the media rounds to talk about himself; he appeared on “The Dan Patrick Show” where he basically wished death for those in the IU administration that approved his firing in 2000.
Knight was fired after video evidence proved he grabbed the throat of former IU guard Neil Read during a practice; that violated the “zero tolerance” policy that had been put on the coach after a series of other embarrassing incidents the school tried to defend.
Despite many pleas from coaches and administrators, Knight has not returned to IU since he was fired. This unofficially makes him the world’s oldest 76-year-old baby.
This man could wrong a legion of people, but if someone dare cross him on any level they were scum, and we now know they deserve to die.
Knight told Patrick how much he appreciated the fans at IU where he coached for 29 years and won three national titles. The fans at IU did the one thing he craves as much as air — round the clock praise, worship and enabling.
Raised in Indiana, I grew up idolizing Coach Knight when he was at Indiana University. As an adult, I cannot stand the man. He made me an IU fan when I should have been cheering for Gene Keady at Purdue.
Winning a basketball game can enable anything, but it is an excuse for nothing.
I was part of the legion of idiot fans who defended all of Knight’s boorish behaviors because he won lots of basketball games. Who cares if he verbally berated people, threw a chair and displayed zero control of his temper? He ran his team “the right way.”
He is the guy who can dish unparallelled punishment and shrivels and rebels at the faintest hint of criticism.
In his prime, there was not have been a better in-game coach than Bob Knight. The man understood the game better than most ever have. The players who survived Knight nearly all love him, and understand his methods. Most of them will say he made them a better man, so it was worth it.
You know who else made college basketball players “a better man?” John Wooden. Roy Williams. Dean Smith. Mike Krzyzewski. And so many others.
Raising your voice and challenging a player are common, and necessary, practices of coaching. Disagreeing with your boss is not an unhealthy proposition, either.
What Knight did was abuse. And as an adult I would have less problem with it if he ever showed one time he could take it. He simply could not.
A coach I know, who was a rare confidant of Knight, would often be the subject of Knight’s infamous belittling behavior. And he took it because it was Bob Knight.
“Do you think I could ever talk to him like that?” the man asked.
The question was rhetorical, but the answer is no. And this man was in the highest of regards in coaching.
As is the case with many successful people at the highest level, the standard wiring was off inside Knight. He operated on different wave length, and there is a price.
The price is he is disgraced. Whatever good he did for the many men he coached and the money he raised for Indiana or Texas Tech has long since been over shadowed by his temper, inability to cope, and unwillingness to cooperate with authority.
It has been said thousands of times that Bob Knight refused to acquire the many traits and characteristics he instilled in his players.
There is nothing left of this man that is interesting or compelling. Bob Knight is just a thin-skinned hypocrite who is irate when people aren’t praising him.
It’s a shame that pilot didn’t leave him on that pier.
Listen to Mac Engel every Tuesday and Thursday on Shan & RJ from 5:30-10 a.m. on 105.3 The Fan.