It’s been about eight and a half months since Bob Knight wandered away from his post at Texas Tech, but the sports world is still in the throes of withdrawal. We miss the man. We need the man. We want him back so much.
Well, Knight is back. Not back back, of course, but giving interviews is a start, right? In an interview airing tonight on Indianapolis’ WFYI, Knight talked with an old friend of his for an hour in front of 500 fans. We’re assuming they’re fans, since the event was taped a month ago and we never heard anything about protestors or projectile tomatoes or anything. Anyway, while the interviewer thought broaching the topic of post-Knight Indiana basketball “wouldn’t have been fair,” there was a lot of reminiscing–and a bit of talk about the future, too:
Knight said that he would return to coaching basketball if the right opportunity came along, but he didn’t say where or when.
Of course he wouldn’t say where or when. Coaches never do that until the ink is dry on their contract. It’s not like he’s going to say, “Oh I don’t know… maybe some place in Palo Alto… or I’ve heard State College, Pennsylvania is lovely in the autumn.” C’mon.
It’s hard to say whether returning to coaching would be a mistake. Clearly he loves the job, and clearly he’s good at it. In addition to his record as the winningest coach in NCAA men’s basketball history, he also graduates nearly every single player, and it’s hard to imagine the last Knight player who was arrested. Anyone at all?
But the sports world is a fishbowl now, and Knight is now the most scrutinized man in all of college basketball when he’s around. Every expression of anger is overanalyzed, every red face cause for concern, every expletive grounds for dismissal. And yes, his temper is legendary, but it’s also largely abated. He’s too old to get angry like he was in the ’80s.
And really, why not come back and potentially leave on a good note instead of staying gone, his last opus unfinished and unsuccessful? Heck, if he wins another title, maybe they’ll make a movie about him, and he’ll have a better actor playing him than Brian freaking Dennehy. What a waste of a role that was. It takes more to play Bob Knight than an overweight old guy with a raised voice. There isn’t a damned bit of resemblence between the two. Here’s what they ought to do: get Robert DeNiro and give him a fake nose. I guarantee you Knight’s hilariously NSFW locker room tirade sounds better coming out of DeNiro’s mouth than Brian Dennehy’s. Did I mention I hate Brian Dennehy? Because I hate Brian Dennehy.