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Friday, March 14, 2008

Bob Knight on ESPN

He's great. He's patient, he's smart, he's insightful, and he looks like he's having a good time.

It's unfortunate that Coach Knight only gets remembered for his intermittent, bad public acts. But in his case, it's the case of a good man doing bad things (and not of a bad man acting badly). Coach Knight did a ton of good in college basketball, and it's a pleasure to have him share his wisdom alongside his good friend Digger Phelps and anchor Rece Davis.

So therein lies the question: is Knight's appearance on ESPN actually an audition for his last big-time coaching job? He looks relaxed, he looks vibrant, he knows the game well -- and many Top 50 athletic directors are watching him nightly. Remember, Bob Huggins has gotten a couple of chances after his Cincinnati debacle, and he doesn't nearly have the reputation for integrity and graduating players that Knight does.

The big issue, of course, is relevance, at least in terms of the ability to recruit and coach today's average eighteen year-old. Huggins clearly still has the lingo down and hires assistants to help him manage the team and the lives of a bunch of late adolescents -- if he didn't I think he'd be out of basketball. In contrast, it's less clear whether Coach Knight has adapted over his many decades of coaching -- after all, this isn't West Point in the 1960's.

However. . .

the man is one of the best coaches of all time. Give him the right big-time program with the right assistants -- who can recruit and relate to the players readily (and have one of those assistants be an heir apparent) -- and I submit that he has another national championship in him. It has to be the right fit, of course.

Could it be that Coach Knight goes back home again to Indiana?


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