BLOOMINGTON, IN. (KSNT) – Love him or hate him, Bob Knight forever left his mark on college basketball.
The legendary coach, mostly known for his time with the Indiana Hoosiers from 1971-2000, died on Wednesday at 83 years old.
To some, Knight was known for his three national titles at Indiana, where he shifted the Hoosiers into a blue-blood program. To others, Knight will be remembered for his fiery attitude, including his infamous throwing of a chair across the court mid-game.
For Kansas men’s basketball head coach Bill Self, a legend in his own right, Knight will be remembered for being uniquely himself.
“He gave an awful lot to the game, an awful lot to a lot of people, and in only the way that he could do it,” Self said of Knight’s passing.
Self mentioned the controversial side of Knight, of which there is plenty to go around. The Kansas coach followed with the positives that Knight brought.
“Nobody could ever doubt or deny the good he did for a lot of people,” Self said. “He’ll be missed and certainly he’s an icon and as big a figure probably as our sports ever known.”
As a new head coach, K-State’s Jerome Tang hasn’t had the time to build the accolades others have.
Tang says he was a “big Bobby Knight fan.”
“As a young person, just how hard he got his guys to compete,” Tang said after Knight’s passing. “And it didn’t matter how tough he was on them. Like, those dudes loved it. The people that I’ve met, loved him.”
After Knight’s 29 years coaching at Indiana, a “pattern of unacceptable behavior” saw him removed from his spot with the Hoosiers. From 2000-2008, Knight coached at Texas Tech, where he went up against Tang as an assistant at Baylor.
Tang remembers a game where Knight was unsure if he could coach due to an incident with the university president. When Knight walked out pregame, the fans all started clapping.
Knight, who was known for only shaking the hand of opposing head coaches; saw Tang clapping for his Bears team and mistook it for Tang clapping for Knight. A sign of what he thought was respect, Knight came up to Tang and shook his hand.
“It was a really cool moment because people were like, ‘Man, Coach Knight stopped and shook your hand,'” Tang said. “He was always kind to me when I saw him on the road.”