More on Frank Deford . . .

Sports Illustrated’s senior writer Frank Deford — unquestionably one of the top magazine writers of his generation — spoke to an almost-packed Alumni Hall Wednesday night. My column in today’s paper deals with the content of that speech.

Deford also met with students from the j-school earlier in the day. A few interlopers did make their way into the question and answer session, and I had a chance to ask Deford about a profile of Bob Knight he wrote in the early 1980s. Eventually titled “The Rabbit Hunter” and included in the book The Best American Sports Writing of the Century, Deford’s piece created the first layer of paint in the mural we now know as Bob Knight: a complicated, stirring man capable of building seemingly anything he wanted if it weren’t for his penchant to be irrevocably set on self-destruction.

Amazingly enough, Deford said that Knight received the story well. In fact, Deford said that he thought Knight’s pleasure with his story is what convinced him to later let John Feinstein have access for his book A Season on the Brink, which Knight hated only 15 or 20 times more than losing to Purdue twice in the same season.

If you’re a Knight fan or a Knight detractor — and inevitably you are one of those two if you take time to read this blog — you should find a copy of “The Rabbit Hunter.” There are few sports articles that can match its depth.

Deford comments in the story that Knight knows journalism better than some of the journalists who covered Indiana knew basketball.

If you read the story, I think you may agree with me on this: 30 years ago, Deford came to know Bob Knight better than Bob Knight knows Bob Knight today.