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Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013
He's gone?Posted Tuesday, February 5, 2008, at 6:42 AM
So, after 42 years, Bob Knight officially stepped down Monday evening as the coach of Texas Tech.
While some may be surprised by his decision, it shouldn't surprise anyone.
Knight -- to put it quite honestly -- always did things his way.
There was no massive press conference. No farewell tour. Just a press release saying "I'm done."
He lived by the mantra that Frank Sinatra made famous with the song "My Way."
Knight will be remembered as one of the greatest -- if not the greatest -- coach to ever walk the court.
However, he will also be remembered as one of the most polarizing figures in sports.
Take a look at any family and you can see this.
My family adored Knight for years. Three titles at Indiana University -- one in 1976, one in 1981, and one in 1987.
I can remember going with my parents and sister to a family friend's home in 1987 to watch the Hoosiers face Syracuse in the NCAA Finals. The friends had a spread (food that is) and everybody was glued to the television set when the game started and didn't quit watching until it ended.
Not only did my family watch the game, my parents also taped it.
But only a handful of years later, some in my family were growing tired of Knight's antics. They were tired of all of the "shame" he was bringing to the university.
And some of my family were pleased when he was released in 2000.
But my grandmother never wavered in her feelings for Knight.
She stood pat believing Knight was just misunderstood.
He had every right to do things his way. That's just the way life is.
I would sit there and attempt to get under my grandmother's skin, talking about how Knight was a "jerk" or anything that would make her defend him even more.
She never wavered. Just like Knight, she did things her way.
And that never surprised me either.
My grandmother used to work in a restaurant inside Indiana's student union. She loved telling a story about how she managed to meet Knight while he was dining there.
He, in her mind, was a great man, no matter what his critics said.
I never had a problem with Knight doing things his way. However, in this day of complete political correctness, sometimes, doing things your way isn't good enough.
Sometimes, you have to bend.
But Knight never did.
I admire him for that. I admire him for being one of college basketball's greatest coaches, if not the greatest of all time.
There are certain numbers and names that will go with Knight while he is remembered throughout history.
The number 902. His total of victories, tops among all men's basketball coaches ever.
The number three. His amount of national titles and the amount of teams he coached in his career (Army, IU and Texas Tech).
The number 2000. The year he was fired from Indiana. A year most Hoosiers hate to remember.
The number 32-0. The last college team to complete an undefeated season (1976).
The names? There are simply too many to mention.
But those names will always be there. All the current coaches that got their start (yes, even Mike Davis) as an assistant for Knight.
Those players that played in the NBA. Those players that made history.
A coach that made history.
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