Thursday, December 28, 2006

My Take on Bob Knight

Although his team is down right now, there is no doubt that Bob Knight will break Dean Smith's record at some point in the next week. It seems like the right time to comment on a man who, if nothing else, creates conversation.

If you asked me 10 years ago what I thought about Bob Knight I would have told you he was an asshole. I had a coach in high school who used to teach us what he called the man to man principles of a Bob Knight defense. Looking back on it, this guy just wanted to act like Coach Knight. Legitimately his eyes bugged out of his head, and I think it happened from yelling. He grabbed you, pulled you, looked like he was going to kick the shit out of you time and time again. Much like Knight looks like, or reportedly has done to players throughout his years.

5 years ago I probably would have said close to the same thing. He was on his way out of Indiana, was assaulting kids at practice, and just came off as a generally unlikeable guy.

Today, I don' think I hate him anymore. Maybe its because he's quiet now. I mean playing at a non-basketball school (really) Texas Tech has humbled him? Or at least, he's not in the spotlight as much as he was before. Maybe I'm more aware of the type of athlete that he deals with, thus needing to instill a military-like discipline at all times.

I liked how he sounded after he tied the record when ESPN interviewed him after the game - asked him what he thought. And he joked that all it means is that he's coached a long time. That he's a dinosaur. Is he getting more like-able with age? Perhaps.

Do I view him differently because I am changing with age? More likely.


Anonymous said...

I don't mind Knight. There are hundreds of coaches who act like him but aren't in the same spotlight. Yes, he's crossed the line a few times but he teaches his players life long lessons. Personally, I wouldn't want him as a coach, but I respect all that he's done

hamburger socks said...

I think there are two factors here:
1) Coach Knight has mellowed in his public actions since getting rolled out of Indiana.
2) In the intervening years,you've taken on a vast amount of responsibility, which now makes you appreciate the real-life lessons and sense of responsibility that Coach Knight imparts on every one of his players. (While I have no specific example other than Isiah Thomas, I seem to remember reading nothing but glowing reviews of Coach Knight from his 3- and 4-year players.)