Crucial moments in Bob Knight’s career
Myron Medcalf, ESPN
- Staff WriterNov 1, 2023, 07:31 PM ET Close Covers college basketball
- Joined ESPN.com in 2011
- Graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato
There are only three men’s college basketball coaches who have won more games than Bob Knight (902)– Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim and Roy Williams– however none got the job done with more flair, personality and polarity. Knight, who died Wednesday at age 83, was both a legendary figure who reinvented the game with his movement offense and an emotional wellspring who never ever hid how he felt, often at his own expenditure. His stamp on the game is undeniable.Knight is thought about one
of the greatest coaches of all time, and his list of accomplishments and difficulties shows as much: In 3 decades at Indiana, Knight won three national titles and coached the Hoosiers to five Final Fours and 11 Big 10 titles. He also won a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics. He won the Associated Press Coach of the Year award three times(1975, 1976 and 1989)and was also named Big Ten Coach of the Year eight times( 1973, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1989, 1992 and 1993). He was one of the conscripts in the first National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Popularity class in 2006, the year the museum opened. And, he coached– and then hired– Krzyzewski at Army, kick-starting the profession of the winningest coach in Department I history.Knight’s legacy is likewise filled with debates that made him a polarizing figure.Here is a look at a few of the essential moments in Knight’s profession.1960: Knight wins a nationwide title … as a player Knight is one of just three individuals
in NCAA history– joining Larry Brown and Joe B. Hall– to win a championship game as a player and a coach. Knight belonged to the 1960 Ohio State team, led by future Hall of Famers Jerry Lucas and John Havlicek, that won the championship game that year. The Buckeyes went on to make it to however lose the next two NCAA title games.1962: Knight ends up being a coach After finishing from Ohio State in 1962, Knight began his coaching profession at Cuyahoga Falls High School in Ohio, before he enlisted in the United States
Army in 1963. He was an assistant coach before being named head coach at Army in 1965, when he was simply 24 years of ages.1966: Bob Knight fulfills Mike Krzyzewski A year after Knight accepted Army’s head-coaching position, Mike Krzyzewski enlisted and signed up with the Army basketball group, starting a relationship that would alter both guys’s professions.
Krzyzewski was the captain of the Army group that reached the NIT– at the time considered a more distinguished occasion than the NCAA tournament– in 1969 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.Editor’s Picks 2 Related 1968: Knight declines to participate in the NCAA tournament It’s difficult to know exactly what to believe when it concerns the factor Knight decreased the invite from the NCAA. Author John Feinstein composed that Knight chosen to send out the Black Knights to the NIT because he believed his team would have a much better opportunity, and he wanted to play
closer to home (West Point is an hour from then-host Madison Square Garden). Plus, Knight supposedly didn’t wish to deal with the juggernaut that was UCLA, which was in the middle of a run of 10 successive national titles under John Wooden.1971: Indiana tempts Knight away Knight’s arrival in Bloomington was consulted with both applause and doubt. He was regarded as a disciplinarian, which the program required following a troubled couple of years. However some questioned whether his systematic design of basketball would work against elite programs.The issues would not last. With the assistance of veterans Joby Wright and Steve Downing, Knight’s Hoosiers finished 22-6 and reached the Last 4 in his second season at the helm(1972-73 ).1975 -76: The(second )unbeaten season In his 5th year at Indiana, Knight led the Hoosiers to a 32-0 record and his very first NCAA title as a head coach, beating Huge 10 rival Michigan 86-68 in the national championship game. Knight, however, typically said the 1974-75 group, which lost star Scott May in the NCAA competition, was as excellent if not much better than this group.1979: Knight punches a police officer and gets jailed in Puerto Rico In 1979, policeman Jose Silva stated Knight– who remained in San Juan coaching the U.S. national group in the Pan American Games– utilized racial slur and punched him when he attempted to escort the coach off the court to include the Brazilian females’s national team to practice. Knight likewise allegedly called members of that team”unclean individuals.”Knight was jailed, then founded guilty and sentenced to six months in jail, but he never ever served the time. Isiah Thomas assisted Bob Knight win his 2nd national title in 1981. AP Photo/Ed Reinke 1981: Isiah Thomas assists Knight win second national title Knight leaned on Thomas, the future Detroit Pistons star, to win his second championship game. Thomas, who averaged 16.0 PPG that season, and 2 other players on that team(Randy Wittman, Ray Tolbert)would go on to end up being first-round picks in future NBA drafts.1984: Wins an Olympic gold medal Before starring for the All-star team in 1992, a college senior called Michael Jordan led the U.S. men’s basketball group to a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. This was one
of the final nationwide teams that included amateur basketball players
— the Olympic committee chose to enable professional basketball players to complete in the Games 8 years later on– and it was coached by none besides Knight. The coach was so amazed with Jordan, who had simply led North Carolina to an NCAA championship in 1982, that he informed the Portland Trailblazers to select him with the 2nd choice in the 1984 NBA draft.(
The Blazers instead selected Kentucky star Sam Bowie, and Jordan fell to the Chicago Bulls at No. 3. The rest is history.)1985: The notorious chair throw Throughout a match against Purdue at Assembly Hall on Feb. 23, 1985, Knight was distressed with a call and tossed a chair across the court. Knight, then 44 years old, was ejected from the game.1987: Keith Smart’s miracle shot wins another nationwide title With just 4 seconds to play in the NCAA national championship versus Syracuse, Smart orchestrated one of the greatest minutes in NCAA tournament history, an 18-foot jump shot from the standard. It went in, providing Indiana the 74-73 success and Knight a third prize as a head coach.1991: Basketball Hall of Fame induction Four years after winning his third national title, Knight was inducted into the
Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Popularity. He signed up with a class that included NBA legends Dave Cowens and Nate”Tiny “Archibald.2000: Knight’s termination In March 2000, former Indiana player Neil Reed accused Knight of choking him during a practice in 1997. A video that
showed Knight getting Reed’s throat with his right-hand man and pushing him back was released, leading Indiana president Myles Brand name to inform Knight that he would be under a” absolutely no tolerance “policy.Five months later on, in September, Knight walked previous student Kent Harvey, who presumably said,”What’s up, Knight?”to
him. Knight, who said he felt disrespected, got Harvey’s arm and looked him down. However the physical contact implied the end of the Bob Knight era in Bloomington. Brand fired Knight three days later.After taking a year off from coaching, Knight signed up with the Red Raiders for the 2001-02 season
and led them to their very first NCAA competition look in 6 years. In seven seasons under Knight, Texas Tech reached the competition an overall of 4 times. Coach K is the most successful member of Knight’s training tree, passing his former coach in 2011 as the
all-time winningest coach in Department I men’s college basketball. Patrick McDermott/Getty Images 2007: The all-time winningest coach On Jan. 2, Knight led Texas Tech to a win over New Mexico and secured his Division I-record 880th win, passing previous North Carolina head coach Dean Smith. During the on-court ceremony after the triumph
, Knight said he did things his method.”I do not anticipate you individuals to have actually agreed with what I have actually done– and, if I did [care], I would have asked your viewpoint,” Knight said then.” And I have actually never ever asked the opinions of many.
I’ve just attempted to do what I believe is best in the manner in which I believe you have to do it. I believe I’ve put myself out on a limb sometimes, knowingly, simply because I believed what I was going to do or say was the very best way to get this kid to
be the very best player or the best student.”
(In a twist of fate, Krzyzewski– Knight’s former player and assistant– would pass Knight in 2011 to become the winningest coach in Department I men’s basketball.)2008: Retirement For all the flair that defined Knight, completion of his training profession did not have the exact same buzz. In February 2008, Knight walked into the office of Texas Tech athletic director Gerald Myers and stated it was time for him to step down. At the time he retired, Knight had won an NCAA-record 902 games.The school handed the program to his kid, Pat Knight, who was fired three seasons later on after collecting a 50-61 record. Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports 2020: Return to Indiana For twenty years after
his termination, Knight never ever went back to Assembly Hall, embittered by the method his period ended. He had notoriously vocalized his refusal, even as numerous former players and Indiana authorities attempted to encourage a return over the years.In 2020, nevertheless, Knight signed up with some of his former players on the floor during an early-February game versus Purdue and pumped his fist as the crowd cheered his return. Regardless of his medical obstacles, he informed the Hoosiers to”Play defense! “He had tears in his eyes, too.
Former player Randy Wittman called Knight’s return a memory “I’ll go to my grave with,”according to Sports Illustrated’sPat Forde.