The General resigns: What’s his legacy?

Even eight years after his time in Bloomington abruptly ended, he is still as polarizing a figure as there is in Bloomington.

902 wins. The 1984 Olympic Gold Medal. Three NCAA titles, all here in Bloomington. He’s done it all. And not only that, he graduates his players and abides by NCAA regulations as well as any coach in the country.

But there’s the controversy. The chair throw. The allegations from former players and Puerto Rican policemen. The alleged “slapping” of one of his Texas Tech players, something I thought was blown a thousand times out of proportion.

For all of you out there, who I’m sure most are familiar with Knight’s career, where do you place him among the all-time great coaches?

At the very top? If not, then one spot behind the Wizard of Westwood, John Wooden? Ahead of names like Rupp, Smith and Kryzyzewski?

29 comments

  1. Great basketball coach who was highly successful.

    Egomaniac with a very hot temper.

    His success was overshadowed by his behavior. Most Americans know him for his outrageous actions than they do his basketball coaching.

  2. Bob Knight is the greatest mens college basketball coach of all time and I’m not going by total wins or national titles. He changed the way the game is played and he did it while running a clean program. He is by no means perfect but his understanding of the game and his ability to teach is second to none. I’ve always believed if he was willing to suck up to kids like many do today he would have won more titles but that is not who he is. What I know for a fact is that the great coaches of today learned at his feet and if you truly want to know how great he is just listen to what they say about the man.

  3. Right.

    It’s all the kids’ fault because they want their coach to “suck up” to them.

    You worshippers are always great for a laugh.

  4. Great coach, probably the best ever, and also a bitter grumpy disrespectful man. He knows Xs and Os better than anyone, but he has made so many stupid decisions when it comes to how he has handled situations throughout his life.

    Laffy, by the way, your posts are always great for a quick induced vomit.

  5. I don’t think Bob Knight really ran a “clean” program. He followed NCAA rules but didn’t follow the rules of decent behavior. He chose to ignore a lot of rules, they just weren’t NCAA rules. It’s amazing to me he had so much respect for the NCAA but so little respect for women and people below him at the school. He didn’t respect law enforcement, didn’t respect his superiors at Texas Tech, and apparently, thought women who were being raped should shut up and just enjoy the humiliating experience. I wouldn’t categorize all this as “clean.”

    There are a lot more important things in life than the NCAA rule book. Why Knight worshiped that book, and ignored every other written and unwritten rule still stumps me.

  6. I think only the biggest idiot in the world would claim that Ben at UCLA “sucks up” to his kids.

    Coach K does too?

    Tubby?

    Izzo?

    Completely ridiculous.

  7. All time college coach rankings:
    1. John Wooden
    2. Dean Smith
    3. Coach K
    4. Knight
    5. Rupp
    Knight’s legacy will always be getting himself fired from IU.

  8. If he’d kept up with the game, and not “hated” recruiting (his word, not mine, used multiple times on air and in print), he might have added 3 or 4 more titles. But he took the attitude of “if you don’t already want to come here, I don’t want you.” So Indiana kids went elsewhere. And won national titles. But this isn’t Knight-bashing. I met him on multiple occasions, and he commanded a room like no one else I’ve ever seen. Never boring, that’s for sure. And you always knew where he stood on an issue. My take? Outstanding and flawed. I’m glad he was at IU. I’m glad he’s not here now. Just my opinion.

  9. All of these debates are pretty impossible to define and rely on one’s perspective. I understand those who dont like Coach Knight and I certainly recognize his mistakes. However, his legacy to me is simply this: he’s my coach.

  10. His legacy? His coaching style, a bunch of wins, and his personality.

    No doubt a great coach in his day. Like all of us on this earth, he had faults. His coaching style may be a bit passed it’s time, considering the new age of prima donna athletes and the AAU system.

    He was his own man, which was offensive to many people. He had what I refer to as “big (short) mans disease”. Typically (but not always) very tall or short people have excessive personalities. Knight was a bully at times and many in Bloomington have witnessed it. I also have seen him be the most engaging and gracious person in the room. This is not a criticism but more an observation. With his status and income he could afford to do what he wants.

    All the best to Coach Knight. He provided many years of IU pride to the program. That is his IU legacy. When I travel, every person associates my hometown with Bob Knight.

  11. He took a great program and left it even better. A fascinating and deeply flawed man whose genius was basketball coaching and whose flaws didn’t allow him to evolve and maintain his own standards of achievement. While I found his departure from Bloomington a relief, and the only way to begin the path to more championships, his contributions were immense. Hopefully, with time, the ‘Bobby fans’ who cared more for him than the university will fade away; and the ‘Bobby haters’ who let his abrasive personality cloud thier appreciation of his talent will do the same. Then we’ll be left with a deep appreciation of a very talented coach.

  12. He laid a great foundation for the school to build upon but refused to change with the times and let his ‘my way or the highway’ approach leave us Indiana fans stuck with Mike Davis. He can blame everyone this side of the moon for what happened but zero tolerance could not have been explained any better. He like ALL human beings and can have good moments but even his brightest ones don’t cover up his dark moments. Although a lot of people who agree with him were of the older age simply because his beliefs were right at the time, refusing to change is a bad addiction for a human to attain. Sticking to ones beliefs is one thing but when society and LAWS change, so should ones values to which their beliefs are formed. This man, although a great father, grandfather, teacher and wise with roundball knowledge, ended his tenure with our University in a manner that should have left a bad taste in all alumni’s mouths.

  13. He is the greatest student and teacher of the game of basketballl
    who ever coached. I really believe he created the game the “IU
    way” and was copied by many, many coaches. There are so many
    who studied at his sleeve it would be difficult to count them.
    But….he was selfish and mean in handling the players’ problems.
    He intimidated. He swore at fans and players. He didn’t care if
    people didn’t like him throwing cans of soda at players on a plane.
    If someone got hurt? Handle that later.
    He is an enigma that many of us greatly miss for his talent and success, yet are relieved he is gone for his vicious temper.

  14. I understand your criticism of Coach Knight and agree he’s made many mistakes. However, I would say the zero tolerance policy is anything but explained well. If my employer wanted to put me on such a policy, I believe I’d leave right then. It’s such a subjective thing that it sets you up for failure. So, while he made mistakes and may have earned his termination, I definitely dont think zero tolerance is so clear.

  15. Well to me it seems like you had it all figured out when and if you were to ever be put on Zero Tolerance. You tell yourself that you dont like your situation and you are going to leave. He on the other hand scoffed at it and went on being himself. Looks like you one up’d the old coot.

  16. I have to give this board props. You aren’t flaming hypocrites like Peegs is… who bans people for speaking the truth about Knight.

    What makes it even funnier is the message I got with the “rules.”

    Most of the morons there break half of them every single day.

    Guess they only apply to people who don’t have their head in Bob’s lap.

  17. Do as I say, not as I do.

    Hopefully the subject of bob knight won’t come up again for a long, long time.

  18. Thanks, Laffy. I certainly dont always agree with you, but I will agree that Peegs is a joke. At least both sides can be heard here…and about anywhere else for that matter.

  19. Alright, here’s my next question.

    National championship game. Teams evenly matched and you have a little less than 48 hours to prepare. If you could have any coach in the country on your bench (in their prime), who would you pick?

  20. I find it amusing people post on here criticizing someone else’s opinion and call people names like they are in the third grade. Then they declare their own opinion as the “truth”. That’s laff-able. Just state your opinion and move along. Don’t hijack the comments section because nobody cares to hear your critique of everyone else’s opinion. That’s not what Zak’s question is for.

  21. I was in Bloomington and a fan of the IU basketball team for the latter half of the 20th century. Some of Coach Knight’s sayings and doings seemed wittier in real time than they do in retrospect.

    On the court, however, between 1973 and 1998, Knight was the best coach of any sport in any league — a superb teacher. In my opinion, Coach K, Knight’s protegee, is the only college basketball coach to approach Knight’s status.

  22. BOB KNIGHT IS THE BEST BASKETBALL COACH EVER. HIS PROBLEM WAS HE THOUGHT THAT HE WAS BIGGER THAN IU. THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM PERMITS THE SPORT PROGRAMS AND NOT THE REVERSE. BOB KNIGHT GRADUATED MOST OF HIS PLAYERS WHICH IS NOT COMMON IN SPORTS. HE TAUGHT GREAT BASKETBALL FUNDAMENTALS AND HOW A TEAM WAS SUPPOSED TO PLAY TOGETHER. COACH SAMPSON COULD LEARN A LOT FROM BOB KNIGHT ON TEAM PLAY AND BASKETBALL FUNDAMENTALS. MAYBE COACH SAMPSON COULD ALSO LEARN AT THE SAME TIME HOW NOT TO CHEAT!

  23. And maybe Coach Knight could take some notes from Sampson on how not to abuse women by throwing things at them, how not to abuse police officers, and how not to get into a verbal screaming argument with your boss in public.

    Oh, and by the way, Kelvin Sampson kicked Bob Knight’s butt up and down the court in the BIG 12 Conference.

  24. Coach Knight sadly was a flawed genius. His highlights and sins are all well-documented. Most of the rest of us (gladly) cannot say the same.

    Bottom line-If/when Coach Knight comes back to Bloomington to be honored, I hope to be able to be in attendance. And I hope the hecklers stay away.

    Enjoy your retirement Coach.

  25. Rupp isn’t even in the conversation. He won titles when there was no one to compete against. He got wins in the SEC when the rest of the SEC couldn’t beat a good high school team. I’d take Branch McCracken over a vile racist piece of trash like Rupp any day.

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