Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Bob Knight was lucky in his adversaries

By Rick Morris

In my youth, suffering through the dynasty that was Indiana hoops in a neighboring state, I didn't have any use for Bobby Knight. The combination of his volcanic temper and the juggernaut that was Hoosier basketball left a sour taste in my mouth, as it did for many.

Later, my opinion changed somewhat. It wasn't so much that I became a Bob Knight fan, but that I felt that he was generally more sympathetic a figure than those who picked fights with him to try to bolster their own standing, whether it be the smartass kid who helped get him fired, the grandstanding university president who laid down a "zero tolerance" policy before sprinting to the cameras to end Knight's IU career or Puritan moralizers like John Feinstein who made a career out of following him around saying, "Tsk, tsk."

Bobby Knight was far from perfect, and as honest as he is, he'd probably be the first to tell you that. But unlike his critics, he never postured publicly about being more morally upstanding than anyone else -- and that's not a half-bad thing to say about somebody. Happy retirement, Bob.

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