College basketball lost an irreplaceable icon with the passing of Bobby Knight. Say what you want about The General, there is no denying he was brutally honest, and made no effort in hiding his emotions. The only thing Bob Knight hated more than losing to Purdue was sports media.
Most of Knight's outbursts come from the media asking stupid questions and creating bullshit drama, while hiding behind the guise of getting the unbiased story. Can't really knock Knight for that. Instead of showing zero emotion with the media like Belichick, Knight is the polar opposite. Laying into the spineless reporters who leave a slime trail when they walk. No one loves the smell of their own farts more than journalists.
Journalists react to hearing the negative criticism by telling the masses that we have no idea how important they are for sticking a microphone in front of a coach after a blowout loss, and asking, do you think the team could have hustled a little harder? Even 95% of journalists who report on the real world are complete and total losers who can't admit they are shoving their biased personal opinions down our throats. Knight's incredible quote saying, the profession of Journalism is one or two steps above prostitution was great and way ahead of its time. Along with some of his other soundbites ...
Knight's angry tirades were iconic because he was witty, and even had enough of a sense of humor to lean into the fact that everyone thought he was a miserable asshole. Knight had the perfect cameo in the underrated Adam Sandler/ Jack Nicholson movie Anger Management (2003). Even the Sandman had a respect for Bobby Knight.
Knight was the perfect sports personality. His takes would Stephen A. Smith to total shame. Never on the fence about anything. Gets asked a simple question about the NBA and spin zones it into a take about how he'd rather watch frogs fucking on a blurry television station than watch overpaid professionals.
No one could say Bobby Knight didn't know his shit. He immediately knew what Michael Jordan would mean to the game of basketball. Knight couldn't have spoken more highly of Michael Jordan after coaching him in the 1984 Olympics, calling him the greatest player he'd ever seen before he'd played a single game in the NBA. A great story from the gold medal game and a perfect example of Knight's coaching, is Knight trying to set an example for the locker room by getting on Jordan for not screening. Telling Michael Jordan he's scoring, rebounding, and passing but not screening, and getting on him for it is already hilarious, but Michael's reaction is perfectly Michael. A rare interaction between two of the greatest to at their professions.
I enjoyed Knight doing color commentary on games after he retired and literally became a member of the media he hated so much. I thought his commentary was a great look into the brain of the greatest basketball coach of all-time. Knight's x's and o's talk was like Tony Romo calling out plays, but without the weird sound effects.
Other than his commentating career, one of the best views into Knight as a coach was the 2006 reality show, Knight School, where 16 players competed for a chance to walk on to the Texas Tech basketball team. My brother and I were too young to watch Knight in his prime, but I remember watching Knight School in my parents basement and loving it. Such a good series. With how reality shows have dominated television, I'm surprised no network has recreated something like this show. I guess they just couldn't come up with a show title that kicked ass much ass as Knight School? Or, the ratings sucked? Who knows, but my brother and I loved the show.
Knight's impact on the game of basketball was definitely controversial at times, but his passion changed the game of college basketball forever. There will never be another Robert Montgomery Knight.