Of course, the one thing that could bring me out of my self-imposed blogging exile is the fact that Bob Knight has retired. It does not escape me that Bob Knight can’t win with me, and I’m not going to pass up on the fact that his latest antic is in ridiculously poor taste and proves once again that Bobby is out for himself.
To quote the man himself (via ESPN): “There’s a transition that’s going to take place here from me to Pat and I’ve dwelt on this all year long … how it would be best for him and for the team and for what we can do in the long run to make this the best thing for Texas Tech,” Knight told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, which first reported the resignation.
I would wager to guess that he didn’t struggle too much with this decision because he had already made up his mind to hit the #900, and then quit. This, in my opinion, is worse than Eddie Sutton’s coming back for #800. At least Sutton can kind of pretend he’s helping a team out who needed a coach mid-season. Bobby, however, made a conscious decision to retire after he hit the big mark, and therefore abandon his team.
And that’s the only way I can describe it, as abandoning his team. Yes, he’s leaving his son Pat to “prepare” for the “future of the team.” Really though, if I was a player, I would want to finish out this season with some sense of continuity and get used to the new guy in the summer months. It’s not as if the team itself has to “get used” to Pat, who was an assistant coach with the Red Raiders, thereby making this move an obvious attempt to give Pat some on the job training.
I also understand trying to help your children out. My parents still help me out every week even though I live 500 miles away from them (so that I may forgo an all-ramen diet). But lots of coaches come in at the start of a new season, not mid-season. And it seems as if they do well most of the time, because this is the way things usually work. The old coach quits at the end of the season (even though he might announce his retirement or leave earlier than that), and then the school hires a new coach who begins his work during the summer.
So this can’t all be about Pat, either. It’s about the fact that Bob Knight, while demanding respect from everyone, hardly respects anyone. He does things on his own time, in his own way, and sometimes people consider him an honorable man for doing so. It plays into the idea of living by your own rules and not taking sh*t from other people. In the real world however, that might sometimes hurt people – literally and figuratively. And Bobby has hurt people – figuratively and literally.
So if you’re defending Bob Knight today, and celebrating his career, I hope you keep in mind the Senior Red Raiders who now feel abandoned by a coach who was just out for his own personal gain. I hope you’re cheering for a man who’s just not a team player, no matter what he’s said in his life.
Hockey fight of the day: