Bob Knight didn’t coach me, and I never met him while a student at Indiana University in the 1980s when he defined Indiana’s brand – in both basketball and culture.
But I think about him. My understanding of basketball – limited as it is – was formed almost entirely based upon his principles, and his unrepentant demands for excellence provided results equivalent in tragidy and triumph.
Knight is an enigma. Everyone has an opinion about him. Some are informed and some not. All of them are unique and arguable.
Trying to reduce who and what Knight is to a simple thought is impossible. There is no answer to the riddle, only more riddles, and then finally you are buried under riddles. His personality is like a computer virus that eats bandwidth until the host crashes.
Knight was a tyrant, ogre, bully, teacher, hero, father figure, and champion. The only debate is in which order do you list his qualities.
In “The Last Days of Knight”, the excellent 30 for 30 film by ESPN that chronicles the journalism that led to Knight’s ouster at Indiana in 2000, his legacy at IU and effect on players is further examined and dissected. (more…)