Is Knight warming up?


Bob Knight prepares for ESPN’s halftime show at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. Chris Howell | Herald-Times

ESPN tried to give Bob Knight an out. At halftime of last night’s Indiana-Pitt game, with Bob Knight seated next to John Saunders and Digger Phelps, the proposed topic was the first game, between Butler and Georgetown. But Knight said he wanted to talk about the second game and then said, “Indiana has really dominated the inside.” Phelps tried to bring it back to Georgetown, and Knight took it back to IU, citing how the Hoosiers were getting to the free throw line as a reason for their success.

Chris Korman and I were shocked. So were many of the live chat participants. What was your reaction? Does this mean Knight is slowly warming to Indiana, and that maybe his reason for not attending the Hall of Fame ceremony was legitimate, and not just a convenient excuse? Or is this just Knight jabbing ESPN for assuming he wouldn’t want to talk about something happening right in front of him? Or was it something else?


  1. Is Bob slowly warming to IU? Is he contrary enough to do the opposite of whatever he’s asked to do? Is he willing to let people associate him with IU only when they’re winning? Yes, yes, and yes.

  2. I was hard on him for not coming, because it really punishes his fans that have supported him for decades. Knight can and will do things his way, he knows the doors to IU are wide open now with an AD and Coach that appreciate him. I hope the thawing continues, and we see coach Knight back at IU. He still has legions of fans. He isnt getting any younger, so I want him back in the fold ASAP.

  3. If you will recall it was never the players or the coaches with which he had an issue. It was the adminstration. He will rise above this feeling for the administration to give credit to good effort by the players and coaches.

  4. Im sure he stuck with the free throw observation, because going to the line was a staple in Knights game preparation and execution. He appreciated that and wanted to highlight it.

  5. NO! I think he wants to put Tom Crean in a chokehold and shin kick him back to Marquette. That’s how much he loves Indiana.

  6. I heard Coach Knight found a check payable to him in the amount of $75,000 taped to his seat. Is that true?

  7. He may occasionally exhibit the maturity of a 5-year-old, but one can say this about Bob Knight: When someone tells him to do a job, he does it.

    I’m sure he saw this game on his schedule and gave a big groan. But ESPN said “get in there and provide commentary at halftime” and he did it. It was very professional of him to put his work ahead of his feelings about Indiana. I’m also fairly sure that he finally feels that, after eight years, we found a proper replacement for him…he and Tom Crean seem to be very similar as far as dedication to basketball and academics.

  8. I’m not a psychologist, but I know a Freudian slip when I see, er, hear, one. ‘We’ is a classic Freudian slip. His true feelings still lead him to use ‘we’ when referring to Indiana, but he won’t do so consciously, only when his subconscious slips out.

    Surely those feelings will rise to the surface eventually and at some point he’ll reestablish contact. It would be a win-win situation. We don’t benefit from the estrangement. He doesn’t benefit from carrying that bitterness around all the time. The ‘we’ and the ‘he’ are parts of the same whole. Come on back into the family, Coach Knight, we’re all waiting for you.

    Good grief I sound like Dr. Phil or something.

  9. I don’t think the HOF has anything to do with it. I think Bob was just doing his job and probably jabbing ESPN a little as you said.

  10. It would thrill many of us to no end to see the wall between IU and Coach Knight come down. Those of us who had the pleasure of working with him in some manner have a great deal of respect for him. My son went to his camp as an elementary school player and absolutely loved him. Coach Knight, keep that “we” thing going.

  11. Bob Knight always has and always will appreciate good basketball and that is what he was speaking towards. I suspect he would have made those comments no matter what uniform the team was wearing. It was nice that he did not let the fact that it was Indiana have a negative effect.

    I would like to clarify one thing. In my opinion, Knight probably sees IU Basketball and IU the institution as two different entities. Knight’s “beef” is with the institution, not the Men’s Basketball program. In that sense, the use of “we” is directed only towards the basketball program. It was nice to see Bob Knight talking about Indiana Basketball once again. After all, he was the most influential person that positioned it as one of the most successful programs in college basketball history.

  12. Regardless of any or all the analyzing of actions taken by coach Knight, the one constant is he always does as he wants to and will never do what he does not. Depending on your site of observation those actions are good or bad but RMK’s compass is always pointed in the same direction.

  13. Bob Knight did say “we” in the halftime report and analysis, but he was talking directly to Digger Phelps about the two of them as coaches. He said “… and one thing we have always taught about, you and I …” and he went on to talk about getting to the FT line.

    I agree that Knight does respect good basketball. His beef is, as others have said, it NOT with Crean or the current team, but the administration and the University in general.

  14. It would be nice if both Bobby Knight and the officials at IU could bury the hatchet and move on. It is time to MOVE ON past this.

    I hope this is an indication Knight is finally moving on.

  15. I’m just glad he finally shaved his eyebrows so he doesn’t look like Andy Rooney anymore.

  16. I think it was an interesting situation. Saunders and Digger were clearly trying to stear clear of IU talk, which I thought was very unfair to the teams who had just battled through the first half. Miraculously RMK took the high road and took it upon himself to give the kids the credit they deserved for a well played first half. Kudos to him. However, it was clear he hasn’t seen any IU games lately when he made the comment that the big guys for IU were dominating down low.
    I don’t think it should be viewed as anything more than RMK giving credit when credit was due. Anyone expecting him to come running across a dewy meadow with open arms toward Bloomington will continue to be disappointed. Lets not get too carried away with over analyzing anything this man does as only he knows his true intentions.

  17. I’ve never seen him this color sweater before, usually it’s that green or navy one that he and Woody trade between the two of them. When was the last time he wore the red sweater he made famous? Now that’s a Freudian slip (sweater) I’d like to see!

  18. This is simply the Bob Knight who set the curve for honesty, directness and integrity. He saw a good effort by the Hoosiers and said so. There is nothing that surprises in the statement.

    We gained so much in terms of basketball, knowledge about teaching and personal integrity from Knight. Many of us still feel that was IU’s finest hour.

    A good job by coach Crean. Intelligent,focused, basketball knowledgeable Hoosiers will now just back off and give him the space continue to teach good basketball.

  19. It’s rather sad to see him age a lonely man….When he looks at candy stripes he sees his one and only… he was faithful to her.. …he protected her…he wasn’t perfect, but he tried to always do the best for her…in every photo he was next to her… she told him to leave but still uses his name…Now he’s invited to sleep in the guest room of the only house he built with her…How hypercritical for me to say an ounce of bitterness would not flow through my own vein.

    I think his love was to coach the Indiana Hoosiers….It pains to see anyone else sleep with his one and only. It will always be a bitter divorce to Bobby.

  20. is this just Knight jabbing ESPN for assuming he wouldn’t want to talk about something happening right in front of him?


  21. I love revisionist history.

    Bob was not “faithful” to IU.

    The school kissed his butt every time he went off the deep end and how did he repay that loyalty?

    By threatening to go to another school the first time they questioned him.

    And, by mailing it in his last 6 years there. Even he admitted he should have left before he got canned.

    You Knight-worshippers crack me up.

  22. He very well may be warming back up to Indiana, but if you recall before the actual game started, and the announcers wanted to talk about Indiana Pittsburgh.

    Knight went straight back to Georgetown’s dominance on the glass and Greg Monroe

    So take it for what it is worth 😛

  23. Seeing as every other ESPN commentator always has contact with the teams/coaches prior to the broadcast, I wonder if Crean & Knight spoke prior to the game. No matter the extent of Knight’s angst towards the University, I have a hard time believing he’d pass up the opportunity to exchange pleasantries with old IU guys like Larry Rink, Steve Ahlfeld, and Time Garl. And with Lawrence Frank also in the Garden, I’ve gotta believe the situation was ripe for some direct dialogue with Knight & some IU people, if not Glass and/or Crean directly

    Further, I wouldn’t be surprised if Knight did make contact with some IU people and put ESPN on notice that they were not to make a deal about it- it might explain why the booth so obviously tried to dance around the elephant in the room & why Knight repeatedly tackled it head on and on his own terms.

    While glaciers don’t melt in a single season, I believe there’s definately a rapid warming-up with Knight & IU. After all the heat that’s recently been put on both sides to thaw things out, there’s certainly reason to believe that the relationship is on the mend.

  24. Here’s irony for you:

    People that label others as “Knight worshippers” are more adamant and passionate in their hatred and opposition toward those worshippers than the “Knight worshippers” are in their support of Bob Knight.

    It’s actually ten times more annoying than people who just like Bob Knight a bit too much.

  25. Casey,
    I can answer that for you. It is easier to criticize than eulogize.

    Fact, guaranteed:
    1. Bob Knight loves and respects Indiana, IU and especially the fans.
    2. Indiana has the best basketball fans in the world. (I am not one of them, sorry).

  26. I think Hank got it closest. Go back and watch the pregame: Digger prompted Bob to talk about the next game and Knight zigzagged and talked about GU-Butler. It appeared that he crossed up Digger by throwing off the agenda. Perfectly consistent with his sense of humor, and willingness to comform to the people in charge of what he’s supposed to say.

    Fast forward to the Sprint halftime show, and Bob is asked to comment for on the IU performance. He pointedly tells Digger he wants to backtrack to about the previous game! I think he’s having a good time.

    Good old Digger was carefully chosen company; Bob was a probably a little nervous– maybe even emotional. It’s a pretty big hoops night– but not just because of hyped games at constant Dick V volume. Jimmy V was the co-star to solid matchups for people who appreciate basketball coached and played well. Bonus: Crean and the Hoosiers really have a chance.

    I think Bob was completely himself, enjoying an unexpected outcome with Digger, and deliberately foiling the halftime chatter gameplan.

    Either way, the best IU moment was the game on the floor. The team was clearly inspired by the pregame and halftime speeches, and was surprisingly good. They were almost totally without panic– except for those two minutes near the end. Smaller and less experienced, they outbigged Pitt and made them look sloppy. Wow!

  27. If that was Knight “warming up” to Indiana, then that certainly explains Digger’s pale, corpse-like appearance. What the hell was that in the ESPN booth last night? A bunch of ball and chains and moaning and groaning..Can’t these Dickens hoops ghosts just go away…I almost wanted to put on a nightgown, hide behind my couch, and throw snowballs at my TV…

  28. Actually before the game they tried to ask him about the IU game, and he wanted to talk about the earlier game. Knight of course always talks about what he wants to talk about.

  29. If Bob “respected IU” like you worshippers claim, he would have not forced Sean May to drop IU from his list.

    May was telling EVERYONE he was going to IU. It was only after that private meeting with Bob that he said he wasn’t.

    If your God “respected IU”, he wouldn’t have sued them. The guy pushed/punched Felling.

    I actually more about IU than any coach……unlike you fruitcakes. If that makes you cry because I call Knight a fraud, and his worshippers, it’s not my problem.

  30. I agree. Digger is as stale as his pin stripe suit. Jay Bilas helped make it fun. The entire V Foundation hoopla always is inspiring. What an amazing cause against cancer. Even more so with a Hoosier triumph.

    Last night’s victory reminded me of the good years when a victory over Michigan’s Fab Five had me waking up with a smile. I still see those tiny leaks in the defense but man, what an improvement. Good intensity. Congrats guys; Now kick the Cats back to Lexington.

  31. Take your meds Laffy. Knight is not a God and very few worship him.

    From one of the “fruitcakes”. Happy Holidays. I hope yours is moist and chewy.

  32. Looking at this boring litany of posts, I am really glad I didn’t come to IU until 2005. I have no interest whatsoever in delving into Knight’s psychology and feelings.

    The slate is clean, of both Knight, Davis, and Sampson. Last night was all about the future. Watford, Creek, and VJ are already playing like they could sneak into some All-Big 10 honors. I think that Big 10 teams will not get out of Bloomington easily this year. The lesser teams, such as Michgan, Northwestern, Penn St, and Iowa, will be entirely beatable on our home court.

    Knock off a few of the big kids and we’ll be looking at 13 wins minimum.

  33. Laffy,

    Why do you even bother stressing yourself out over IU athletics? If I were you, I’d just stop paying attention; you seem to hold a constantly negative attitude toward our sports programs. I don’t think I ever recall reading something positive or constructive from you — which is fine, if that’s how you feel, but why even bother anymore?

    Also, you pour way more effort into bashing Knight than anyone here puts into supporting or defending him. Why is that? Think about it.

  34. ww–

    You need to read Peegs. There are LOTS of people who worship Bob still today….and countless more that don’t even post there.


    I absolutely loved last nite so I don’t know what you’re crying about. Forgive me for not slobbering over the endless list of 3 star guards that we’re bringing to the program.


    I don’t think Northwestern, Penn State or Michigan are “lesser” programs and all have a good chance of beating us at home. Hopefully our team doesn’t over-look them like you do. We almost blew an 18 point lead last nite because of being over-confidant.

  35. The reason the issue is not going away is because somehow is not settled.
    Who is pushing it? His fans, the Indiana people.
    As his first neighbor, I was curious about the man.
    As he gained fame and success, I could not understand why such a hoopla over sports. When doctors were around.
    When he was fired, I thought maybe there were reasons other than the obvious in the media.
    When he was gone, the significance of his value became evident with time. His fans begged for “justice” so to speak. after all, they got screwed. Their Washingtons built the program.
    I realized then that the man was some sort of a phenomenon.
    By a stroke of luck, an invitation of a friend, I went with him on four (3-7 day) fishing trips (remember, I am not a basketball fan).
    I never discussed basketball or IU with him. Just fishing and fishing trips- a few dry jokes here and there. Being a first time fly-fisherman did not sway him. He was verya accommodating. I
    He loves to teach. Effectively-if you know what that means. I do.
    So, what was the reason for his success? I was curious as hell!
    I watched his behavior, coupled it with other casual encounters in the past that he had with my family…and…this is the best I came up with:
    He is a performance genius and with a very understanding heart but limted in time for what he commits himself. Most of you will have your own interpretation of what I just said. Those of you who have been at number one of your class will have some idea. But his case is at the top of a very large class for a long time.
    Of course, he will be misunderstood. It is difficult to measure miles with a yard stick. Even as smart as president Brand was, he missed the solution and regreted it. Texas took a chance and were pleased.
    But the phenomenon it is not just Knight, it is the way the people of Indiana are, what they wanted from him, what he gave them.
    In a way, it is not a big deal, in another way, it was the only thing great we experienced in a generation.
    So, I understand the melee of posts I read. And Iam certain that he would too, if he would bother to read them, although some will hurt him pretty bad.
    I expect nothing from him. He expects nothing from me. We are just acquainted.

  36. ww,

    OK. If that is all you got out of reading my honest evaluation, it shows what type of person you are. You are ready to opine with little knowledge or sensitivity, insulting what you don’t understand.

    Perfectly normal for some.

  37. Sorry Tony. I read the rest. It just sounds like previous posts of ……. “I went fishing with Bobby”. You probably have it nailed. I guess I pitch my tent in the camp of “who cares?”.

    I guess I was a bit insulting and I apologize. Far from opining tho. I have enough knowledge to spew on and on but in the words of the good coach, let’s not beat a dead horse.

  38. Let me say it again for you if you are hesitant, ww: Who Cares? I’m on that boat, with no shame at all. Leave the “5 Dusty Banners” crowd to hem and haw on their porches in their rocking chairs about Bobby and his feelings. I have a hunch that if Bobby were to read all this crap, he’d probably want to choke people.

    The days of red barns, honest corn-fed white boys, flying chairs and short shorts are long gone. I wonder if a single current IU player was even born the last time IU won a championship? It’s all about the future, I will say again. Here’s to Watford’s post moves, VJ’s baby jumpers, Creek’s Gary Paytonesque scoop shots, and Rivers’s tasmanian devil-style floor marshaling.

    Rivers, by the way, needs a major haircut.

  39. Laffy,

    You identify any post or opinion that doesn’t coincide with your own as “crying.” I assure you, I shed no tears over anything you post.

    What I’m saying (not crying about) is that absolutely no one on this blog cares about what you have to say. No one respects what you have to say because you spew the same crap in every post, and you never substantiate your perpetually negative claims with any sort of actual argument. Instead, you name-call and regurgitate the same griping about 3-star guards whenever possible.

    I’d argue that YOU are actually the “cryer.” You cry about Knight Worshippers. Cry about 3-star guards. All. The. Time.

    If you “loved last night,” then show a tiny bit of faith in our coach’s ability to do what’s best for the program. It seems odd to praise the win and simultaneously criticize the way in which Crean chooses to build the program into a winner.

    Try switching up your arguments every once in a while, or just stop posting.

    Everyone here understands your two foundational opinions: We recruit too many 3-star guards, and you hate anyone who defends Coach Knight. It’s been established. Either say something new or save us all the hassle of having to read the same posts from you on every story.

    Happy holidays.

  40. I don’t adhere to a belief that better values benefit from a new rocking chair. Society can regress..a modern mind can wear short or long shorts…a cornfed white boy may be Abe Lincoln…a terrorist plotting our demise may claim “it’s all about the future”. The future holds no promise merely because it’s the future. The promise is in adherence to truth and pursuit of good..The promise is what is guiding our heart today..

  41. John Wall is downright scary. This guy makes Eric Gordon look like canned cat food. Does he ever hit a shot that isn’t clutch? What top-20 team can’t he light up?

    All we can do is try to make him as nervous as EJ was against Illinois. If we can hold him to a 1 point half, I’ll hedge my bets on the long bank shot at the buzzer.

  42. That’s hilarious, kitty litter mouth. You’re unstoppable.

    He is fun to watch even in that hick uniform…What a show he put on last night…I am a sucker for talent and Kentucky has a pair of guards that are the best tandem I’ve seen in many years..I would give Hulls the opening assignment to guard Wall . Give the backyard ally cat the start and watch him rise to the challenge and tender Wall’s vittles…Get the crowd immediately into the game…

    I’ll still take Gordon’s range and interior strength…Keep an eye on the Clippers when they get Griffin active.

    A song dedication from a rickety old rocking chair.

  43. At the 1:10 mark of the above clip is how I basically view the Downing and Husky Tom blog exchanges..Didn’t you claim once to have quite the thinning on top?

  44. If not for red barns, honest corn fed white boys, flying chairs, short shorts and I will add the Big “O”, Milan and all the time spent by HS coaches, the most knowledgeable BB fan base would not be in Indiana.

  45. Clarion, that’s an interesting observation. I can’t agree or disagree. It would be intersting to hear your take on where the most knowledgeable fan base id located.
    Boy, are you going to hear it for this statement!

  46. Jay,
    I have re-read my post twice. I clearly stated why Indiana has the most knowledgeable fans and always has.

  47. Downing- Yes, I proudly boast a thinning crown…although it has been years since I have let the hair grow long enough to see it.

    Clarion- I would have no idea what having the most “knowledgeable fan base” gets you, even if I accepted your funny self-praise as factual. Do players feed off of your wisdom? Do you telegraph advice to players during mid-game? Does your Aristotelian poise from the stands help recruit top names?

  48. Wasn’t a committee used when we searched for our new basketball coach…Would that be part of “the most “knowledgeable fan base”…the golfer that helped advise on picking Tom Crean?

  49. God forbid someone be “helped” by Hoosier Clarion; following his example would involve trying to insert one’s head into his rear-end – an act which defies Hoosier wisdom.

  50. This is not in defense of Clarion, I think that he can take care of himself.
    This is a question for D-5. What are you trying to achieve?
    1. It can’t be imparting knowledge. You have never done that. The only knowledge you have given was concerning Husky Tom’s French girlfriend. That showed a lot of class, on your part.
    2. Exchange ideas concerning IU athletics, perhaps. You certainly have a strange approach, if that is the case.
    So, what is it? 100 words or less, please. Seriously I am curious.

  51. Clarion- Repeat that comment, except this time without your head in your rear end. Then maybe I’ll learn something.

  52. Again you repeat yourself. Or maybe it’s just an echo in the deep and vast hollow of your cranium.

  53. Clarion- You combine the eloquence of Dan Quayle with the delivery of Homer Simpson.

    My masquerade hasn’t accomplished much, other than helping me relieve some of my annoyance with your lifeless posts.

  54. Your the one responding to what you describe as lifeless posts. You are damn easy to bait.

  55. Your= possessive pronoun, aka “your jacket,” “your armchair.”

    You’re= you are.

    Nothing undermines one’s credibility in a dispute like bad grammar.

    Wow, looks like I finally accomplished something: I taught grammar to a redneck.

    Are you from Kentucky?

  56. You guys … I expect a lot more from you two. Stop fighting each other, what are you doing throwing elbows at each other? What kind of an example are you? Instead of fighting each other why don’t you do something harder: shake hands and make up.

    I take full responsibility for getting Husky’s goat. OK? But I am returning it now:

               > *\     _~
               `;'\\__-' \_
                  | )  _ \ \
      ejm97      / / ``   w w
                w w

    So there! Peace now. You two are two good to get into such a meaningless exchange. You guys should know better. Resentment is an extremely bitter diet, and eventually poisonous. In fact, resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. If you want to fight someone why don’t you go ahead and fight me?!

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