Credit to me for being a bigger man here and crediting Bobby Knight for saying something smart. But even for how much I hate Knight, I have to give him credit for this. He nailed it with Jordan. Knight coached Jordan during the 1984 Olympics and was in charge of putting the team together. This story from 1993 with him on Letterman trying to come up with something to yell at Jordan about is gold:
(starts around the 4 minute mark)
Now that said, Knight's criticisms and negatives from the 1984 trials is a bit hilarious. Here's what he said about Jordan (h/t IU)
"1. Loses sight of ball – Doesn't help on post.
"8. No stance – poor post defense – foolish foul.
"21. Drifts into occupied post instead of popping out to wing for spacing."
Call me crazy, but I'm pretty sure Jordan turned out to be a good defender. There's also this play that sort of sticks out in terms of helping on the post.
Then again Knight also said this about Stockton:
"3. Kills dribble and can't improve passing angle.
"7. Throws ball to baseline with no purpose.
20. Doesn't use dribble to take ball to the shooter."
Also said this about Patrick Ewing:
"4. Lack of defensive alertness.
"7. Slow defensive recovery – poor defense to the ball.
"19. Just walks across the lane – doesn't look for screening action to initiate offense."
So maybe Knight wasn't the best at evaluating talent when it comes to guys that would turn into NBA legends. He notoriously did say that Portland should draft Jordan and play him at center and he'll be the best center in the league. That 1984 team that won gold ended up being loaded too. Roster included Jordan, Steve Alford, Patrick Ewing, Sam Perkins, Wayman Tisdale and Chris Mullin. Shit, they cut Barkley, Stockton, Johnny Dawkins and Terry Porter.
I need more old school stories like this coming out in between doc episodes. I want to hear stories that have never been told before and breakdowns like this. At least get us to Wednesday when we have The Challenge and then the NFL Draft on Thursday.