Bob Knight's favorite word

Here's a gem of a video I found on YouTube, via The Quad:

Yesterday, "The General" resigned as head coach of the Texas Tech men's basketball team. It is most likely the end of his 42 year coaching career. Last night, while watching a few games, I listened to the commentators compliment and praise Knight during pauses in the play. One of them said, "If you grew up in the Midwest, there was no other person who you wanted to have teach you the game of basketball."

I sat back and thought about it for a minute. I grew up infatuated with basketball, and I remember soaking in the awe and majesty of Bobby Knight. I didn't know why people revered him so much, but they did. I knew nothing about offensive or defensive strategy (I still don't, really), and I gave all my attention to the players (after all, they're the ones who put the ball in the hoop). The Big Ten superstars came and went, but the coaches stayed and I came to know them just as much. Tom Davis and Bobby Knight were probably the first court generals I could recognize, match their faces with their names. But I was a Hawkeye through and through, and knew I'd rather play for Dr. Tom than a short tempered man who threw chairs and choked his players.

Of course Knight had his bad moments, but he was a genuine character straight out of basketball's old school scene. I'll miss him. He was a great ambassador for college basketball and his legacy will live on through his former players and assistant coaches (successful or not).

Everyone has their Bobby Knight moments. Last night the ESPN commentators were downright nostalgic, imparting their memories of playing at or against Indiana. It reminded me of my Bobby Knight moment. It was February 1994; I was 11. My dad and I went to the Iowa-Indiana game with my cousin and uncle, who had somehow gotten seventh row tickets. A crowd had formed around the tunnel, anticipating Knight's entrance into the arena. The teams came out, warmed up, and he emerged. Everyone began to clap. I thought, "We're clapping for the opposing coach!?" He took his place along the bench, about 15 feet from where I sat. At one point during the pregame shoot around my cousin ran over to the press boxes to get Bobby Hansen's autograph, getting me a copy as well. I had no clue who he was.

I don't think anyone was watching the game; we wanted Knight to deliver. I could hear him commanding his players, arguing with the refs, yelling to himself and his assistants. I had never been that close to the action at Carver (until my recent trip back home for the holidays, when I sat in the front row, behind the scoring table). I remember Mont'r Glasper laying out for a loose ball at mid court and hearing him say "NO WAY!" when the ref called him for traveling. I don't recall, but I think Knight may have gotten a technical. When he harassed the refs the crowd egged him on. We wanted him to get kick out not only because he was Indiana's head coach and a court genius, but because he was Bob Knight. That's what Bob Knight did. He got pissed off and ejected. But we were disappointed in more than one way that night: Knight kept his temper in check and the Hawks lost.

When the game was over a crowd gathered around the tunnel once again. I wondered how Dr. Tom felt knowing he was the second most popular coach in his own arena.


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