Bob Knight

  • When Bob Knight took a job with ESPN as a college basketball analyst in 2008, the career shift reminded one of the Groucho Marx line about not wanting to belong to any club that would have him as a member. The Hall of Fame basketball coach joined the same group of people he once described as “one or two steps above prostitution.” He became one of the “damn people from television” he famously critiqued.

    On Thursday night, his run as one of the “damn people from television”—at least as far as being a damn person from ESPN—is officially over. has learned ESPN will not renew its contract with Knight. His last broadcast for the network will be Thursday night’s NIT’s championship between Stanford and Miami, which tips at 8 p.m. ET.

  • Knight, 74, was hired by ESPN in February 2008 shortly after he announced his resignation from Texas Tech. During his time with ESPN, he worked in a number of capacities, including as an on-site analyst (notably with Brent Musburger on Big 12 broadcasts) as well as appearing on select shows and platforms, including ESPN’s Selection Sunday Specials, SportsCenter, ESPN Radio and ESPNEWS. He was an interesting and distinctive voice early on, but he had some hiccups as a broadcaster, including in 2012 when he remarkably declined to utter the word “Kentucky” on air, opting instead for that “team from the SEC.” He took on fewer games in the past couple of years—he called American Athletic Conference games this year with Mike Patrick and Len Elmore—but still had a propensity to tell people to get off his lawn.

  • Lemme guess… replaced by Doug “Credit Card” Gottlieb?

    Every time I review my monthly statement and see a charge I’m not sure about I ask myself if I’ve been to a game near Gottlieb.

  • IDGAF what anyone says. Coach Knight is the real deal. And always will be in my book. Love that guy!

  • I met Knight at a golf course in California in the late 90’s and had a fun conversation with him for a couple minutes. Here’s my recollection of the transcript:

    VailHawk- coach nice to meet you.

    Knight- hi.

    VailHawk- I got to see you play in AFH when Damon Bailey had like 45 points.

    Knight- yeah that freshman hit a 3 in OT to beat us.

    VailHawk- yeah Jacque Vaughn…you remembered that?

    Knight- well I didn’t remember it till you GD brought it up!

    VailHawk- sorry coach

  • @VailHawk that’s awesome, did he throw anything at you? You so deserved it! Ha ha

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    Nah he just drove off in his golf cart

  • @VailHawk terrific!!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I learned a few things from Knight’s comments-although he got his players mixed up at times.

    Thought of you tonight 22. I was at the Rice Relays to watch my son run. There was a U of H coach setting to my left. He had a cap and sunglasses on but something looked familiar. A high school coach in front of him turned and asked a question. As soon as he spoke it hit me. Carl Lewis. I thought when my son finishes his race I will introduce him. Unfortunately my boy pulled a muscle and I went to assist with his things-when I looked back to our area he had left.

    PS-some great high school athletes there. The qualifying times for the 400 finals were sub 50 seconds.

  • What, no more “he should’ve used a shot fake there” comments? Dammit!

  • @JayhawkRock78 son ok? You need to google KU relays fb. Even w/out fb you can see some cool history facts, also a commercial w/the stud Stigler!

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Thanks for asking about my boy. Sad news is he only has two weeks before district-

    Last year our 4-400 advanced to area/region and missed state. Which is VERY hard to reach Texas with so many athletes. No way I see him able to run the 200 again his senior season, but we had a chance to go far in the 4x400 again-now not so much.

    But he figured out he wouldn’t be a track athlete in Div 1 power conference college long ago as he knew his strengths were in math and science-just the opposite of me and I am very happy about that. Brains over brut and good for him.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I don’t have access to FB but LOVE Stigler and was super excited hearing about his resurgence at the Texas Relays. This year I could not swing being there and I am kicking myself for missing such a wonderful performance.

  • @JayhawkRock78 if you google it you can see it.

  • @cragarhawk

    “Coach Knight is the real deal. And always will be in my book. Love that guy!”

    Ya dang tooting, he’s the real deal!

    He’s the only guy talking that has actually walked the walk. So what if he confuses a few things in a game. Better than all those blowhards that get their basketball education from thin air. Gottlieb, Bilas, Fraschilla, Mushburger… all talkity-talk!

    So Bob has nothing to do? Maybe he’d like to be a developmental coach at Kansas. Heard they will be looking for a new assistant coach. (hint)

  • @drgnslayr I absolutely agree. Knight didn’t care who the players were, he analyzed the GAME. I learned a lot about the game by listening to him. Also, it was fun to bet on how many times he said “shot fake” during a telecast. He never commented about meeting some player’s first cousin in an elevator. We lived in Big Ten country for awhile. Our son ended up going to Purdue and our daughter to Northwestern. It was fun to watch basketball when he was coaching at Indiana. No one was more fun to hate than Knight, with the possible exception of a couple of Missouri coaches. Later. we learned to appreciate him. When television goes for the entertainers instead of the analysts, the game is the poorer for it.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 Great idea. Thank you.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 said:

    He was an interesting and distinctive voice early on, but he had some hiccups as a broadcaster, including in 2012 when he remarkably declined to utter the word “Kentucky” on air, opting instead for that “team from the SEC.”

    It’s a bit ironic that we’re nearing the eclipse of the Bob Knight-led-'76-Hoosiers-moment, by that very same ‘team from the SEC’

  • @Crimsonorblue22

    He wouldn’t mention Kentucky by name in 2012? Classic! Maybe we could get him to be commissioner of the NCAA since he’s needing a job and that (un)organization is in serious need of some common sense direction.

  • @wissoxfan83

    And ethics, too. Don’t forget that Knight ran a tight ship and through all his success at UI, he ran clean programs the entire time.


    I bet it really boils Bob’s blood. I don’t think he cares about personal records… but I bet he doesn’t want to share that one with Cal. Can’t blame him.

  • @drgnslayr I used to work with a lady whose son played four years under Coach Knight at Indiana. This would have been in the mid 80’s. She would be incensed when any one degraded Bob Knight. She thought he walked on water. She knew how tough and hardnosed he was, she didn’t have her head buried in the sand or anything, but she also said he was the most thoughtful and caring person she had ever met. She said he treated those boys as though they were his own and really loved them. He felt his discipline was showing them that he cared about them. I personally felt he may have gone overboard at times, but I would not say that around her!! Or else…:facepunch:

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