Bob Knight’s version of book promotion hit The New York Times Magazine today in an interview, “Coach Bob Knight on Why He’s So Unpleasant.” The headline riffs on the name of Knight’s new book, The Power of Negative Thinking, co-written with his longtime collaborator in Bloomington, retired sportswriter Bob Hammel. [Related: Hammel on why Knight makes a good author.]
The newspaper’s story doesn’t disappoint, unless you’re hoping Knight is softening on his self-imposed exile from Assembly Hall and Tom Crean’s efforts to woo him back. “What do I need a hero’s welcome for?” Knight says in the article. “Obviously I don’t have any interest in going back, or I would have, it’s that simple.”
If you are the type to wish for such a thing—after all, Knight is wearing a crimson sweater in the magazine’s photo—perhaps you need to read the book. Knight sums up its message thusly: “The worst word in the English language is ‘hope.'”
The writer pressed the Hall of Fame coach about the media’s coverage of his most infamous outbursts. “It’s just something that I ignored,” he said, following up with, “That’s my answer. Let’s go onto something else. I’m tired of this.”
The conversation isn’t all curmudgeonly. Knight revealed how he monitored players’ grades and how he dealt with those who slacked off: by making them run stairs at 5 a.m. ” I did this with a lot of kids,” he said, “but never twice.”
To learn what his grandmother taught him, why Knight yelled so much, and why one reader (in the robust comments section) compares him to Julius Caesar, click over to the full interview.
Photo credit: Flicker user Steven Wilke