Bobby Knight, RIP
Print Friendly and PDF

From The Athletic:

How Indiana stunned North Carolina in Michael Jordan’s final college game

… On March 22, 1984, North Carolina played Indiana in a Sweet 16 game in Atlanta’s Omni. We should remember what it looked like on paper.

[Jordan’s North Carolina] Tar Heels were 28-2 and ranked No. 1, their two losses by a combined five points. They had four future first-round draft picks in the lineup, and another coming off the bench. Those five—Jordan, Sam Perkins, Brad Daugherty, Kenny Smith and Joe Wolf—would eventually score nearly 70,000 points in the NBA. Dean Smith was already secure as a legend—getting his first title only two years before, with considerable help from Jordan—and assisting him was another future national champion coach, Roy Williams. “There was nothing we didn’t have,” Williams said of that team, 36 years later. “We had everything that you need to win the national championship.”

The 21-8 Hoosiers were unranked in the Associated Press poll. Of their starting lineup that night, only two—Steve Alford and Uwe Blab—would play a day in the NBA. Their combined career scoring total was 1,249. But they also had Bob Knight, who knew something about preparing a team to beat any opponent. “To get that group to believe was something very special that Coach did,” Alford said. …

“Doing what you have to do, as well as you can, when it has to be done, and then doing it that way all the time.” …

Knight paid more than lip service to academics. He had a near-perfect graduation rate and believed that a player who skipped class or blew off a tutoring session did not have the character to play for him. Also, unlike many of his contemporaries, Knight was a stickler for following NCAA’s rules, whether he agreed with them or not. In his four-plus decades as a coach, he never generated a whiff of scandal in that department.

[Comment at]

Print Friendly and PDF