Damn. Sad Day, Bad Day for fans of Indiana Hoosiers basketball. 3-time national title champion, the last perfect season, and the 6th most winningest coach in college basketball history with 902 wins is no longer with us after passing away at age 83, The General, Robert Montgomery Knight.
Bobby Knight hadn't been back on Indiana's campus since he was fired from the university in 2000, so when he made his first return in 2020 joined by his former players, Assembly Hall went absolutely nuts. Even Knight's biggest rival Gene Keady showed up out of respect. The sad part about his visit was that you could tell the coach wasn't in the best of health, but it was nice to see him bury the hatchet with the university he held a bitter grudge against and for the longest time wanted no association with the program he gave so much.
Knight was everything Indiana fans wanted in a basketball coach. He loved the game and preached that no one is bigger than the game or the team. It didn't matter if you were a star, if you weren't hustling, you weren't playing. The picture of Knight drinking water in the locker room in front of the sign that says victory favors to the team making the fewest mistakes is iconic. You don't have to be the most talented team, but you have to work together as a team and play the game the way it's supposed to be played.
Bobby Knight definitely had flaws and some real anger issues. He reminds me of basketball's version of legendary Ohio State Football Coach Woody Hayes. Sometimes unable to control their temper, and it comes out in the worst way. Knight had his critics (who can all kiss his ass), but if you talk to the majority of his players, they all say Bobby Knight cared about each and every one of them as men, not just basketball players. His passion is what drove him to be great. The man hated losing, especially to Purdue. We've all seen the chair throw, but this halftime speech (below) to his players is incredible. Sometimes you need a coach who is willing to chew your ass out to get the point across. That's good coaching. He knew what it took to win. It isn't all Pats on the back and atta boys. Knight was your coach, not your buddy.
RIP to a one-of-a-kind legend. I wonder if Knight will live up to his request to be buried upside down so his critics can kiss his ass?