Living legend Bob Knight simply a walking contradiction

Bobby Knight’s resignation Monday compounds his persona as a walking contradiction.The man who bashed Indiana basketball players like Jason Collier and Neil Reed for walking out on their scholarships and playing at other schools fled from his team in the middle of a season. His contract stipulated that he would be the Texas Tech head basketball coach through 2011, but instead he left the Red Raiders without any warning of his departure or concern on what mental toll this could take on his team.Countless psychologists could analyze the exploits, actions and successes of Knight and they would all probably come up with different reasons for his inconsistent behavior. Two certainties everyone can agree on is that Knight will always be one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time and that he possessed a massive temper that sometimes led to his supreme downfalls.As a student, Knight had trouble making classes at Ohio State but would never allow his basketball players to miss courses as a basketball coach. He was never accused of committing an NCAA recruiting violation and yet has been accused of assault on multiple occasions. One must question his ability to adapt to a new generation of athletes who are simply turned off by corporal and verbal abuse. The fact is that he has not been to a Final Four since 1992 or won a National Championship since the 1986-1987 season, which would give credence to those who believe his players began tuning him out. However, Knight did bring the Texas Tech basketball program from the lower reaches of the Big XII to respectability, which is something that should be commended.Knight’s defenders state his accolades as a coach are the only things that will define his ultimate legacy, but that is simply not the case. Maybe without the bad temper and the low sense of self he would never have driven to do what is necessary to prove people wrong. The truth is, though, Bob Knight cannot be completely remembered without bringing the whole picture of who he was into focus.Knight’s departure with ten games to go in the season should be seen as what it is: a coach who quit on his team. If Knight truly lost his heart for teaching the game and decided to give it up, it would be a respectful reason to exit. The problem is that he admitted to Jay Bilas in an ESPN interview that this is not a retirement, but a resignation; he left the possibility of coaching again available. The only thing to deduct from these remarks is that Knight did not believe his team was good enough to make it to the NCAA tournament, never mind winning a national championship. To understand Bob Knight’s motivations for anything he does, one must be able to comprehend what goes through his head, which is completely impossible. Many have said that he only sees things in black and white, and the reason he has sudden outbursts of anger is because of an acute sense of right and wrong. The setback in this reasoning is that it is never justified to assault another human being, even if they frustrate or anger you to no end. That is true even for a living legend.

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