Bob Knight: The General's Top 20 Quotes as a College Basketball Coach
Bob Knight will go down as one of the most notable coaches in sports history for his relentless coaching ability and also for his temper that led him to burst into outrage quite regularly.
We’ll always remember Coach Knight as the chippy coach who would snap on a dime and chew his players out and maybe even give them a smack on the chin if they weren’t looking at him while he was giving them "the business."
He was fiery, relentless, but above all a very passionate coach. Coach Knight’s passion was unfortunately expressed in heated exchanges with players and the press, but his love for the game can’t be questioned.
Following are the General's top 20 quotes as a college basketball coach.
On Mental Toughness
“Mental toughness is to physical as four is to one.”
A simple proportion to stress the importance of mental toughness.
On the NBA
“If the NBA was on channel five and a bunch of frogs making love were on channel four, I’d watch the frogs, even if they were coming in fuzzy.”
The General was very loyal to the college game and didn't have very much respect for the professional game.
On the Will to Win
"The key is not the 'will to win'...everybody has that. It is the will to prepare to win that is important."
Coach Knight was all about preparation and held tight to the notion that practice is just as important as the game.
"All of us learn to write in the second grade. Most of us go on to greater things."
Knight always maintained a tense rapport with the press and didn't hesitate to take the liberty to call out a journalist about a question he didn't like or thought was foolish.
"Everybody hears, but few listen."
Knight may have seen this foundation as means for yelling and cursing in order to get someone's full attention.
"I don't have to wait until the next morning to regret something I did that was kinda dumb."
Regrets, he had a few, but then again...well, I guess that song doesn't really apply. He did it "his way," though.
On His Son, Pat
"Pat has been instrumental in what we've done here so far and the most selfish thing for me is that I want to see what we've done placed in the hands of the most competent person, and that's Pat. No one would come close to being able to continue to build on what we've done here so far like he will."
Knight on handing the head coaching job at Texas Tech over to his son, Pat.
"You don't play against opponents; you play against the game of basketball."
On Drug Tests
"If I were in charge I'd drug test all you sons of b****es, not just the athletes."
Knight said this during an address to Indiana students.
On His Purpose as a Coach
"If my primary purpose here at Indiana is to go out and win ballgames, I can probably do that as well as anybody can. I would just cheat, get some money from a lot of people around Indianapolis who want to run the operation that way, and just go out and get the best basketball players I can. Then we'd beat everybody."
Knight indirectly calling out other coaches/ programs that use cheating tactics to boost their programs.
"Son, my name isn't Knight to you, it's Coach Knight or it's Mr. Knight. I don't call people by their last name and neither should you."
Knight (pardon, "Mr. Knight") always demanded an elevated respect from the media. If it was violated, you'd probably see it in the news the following day.
After a Loss
"We just got our ass beat by a much better team. It happens once in a while. Does every team win every game?"
Knight's passion for the game always left him bitter after a loss, especially a tough loss.
"I don't think I have ever been out of control."
This seems to conflict both with his previous quote about regrets, and with the featured video.
On His Coaching
"If I came in to recruit your son, I would tell you, your wife and your son that I will be the most demanding coach your son can play for."
There are coaches similar to Bob Knight in terms of what he demands from his players, but few did it with such determination.
"When my time on earth is gone, and my activities here are passed, I want they bury me upside down, and my critics can kiss my ass!"
Bob Knight liked to do things his way as a coach and didn't care much for those who criticized him.
"Your biggest opponent isn't the other guy. It's human nature."
Whether Coach Knight intended it or not, this quote can be interpreted as being self-referential to the fiery coach.
On Coaching Strategy at Indiana
"People want national championship banners. People want to talk about Indiana being competitive. How do we get there? We don't get there with milk and cookies."
In this quote, Knight seems to be attempting to justify his hard-nosed attitude towards coaching. Moderation wasn't the key for him; it was all or nothing.
On His Physique
"I tell you what really fries my ass. When somebody gets on me for the way I look. Fat. Overweight. Well, I may be overweight. But I'm sure not fat. And I guarantee you, I'm a better athlete than any @#%$ body writing. To this day, they don't want to play tennis with me. The don't want to play me in golf. They don't want to @#%$ run with me"
After watching the outtakes, you'll agree that nobody would want to play golf with Knight in fear that he may throw a club at them.
On Resemblance to Santa Claus
"You remember when you were a kid growing up, and believed in Santa Claus? There's not much difference between Santa Claus and me today, you know. We're two overweight lovable guys that kids really enjoy."
I have to disagree, only because he's not a big fan of milk and cookies.
"I don't intend to retire."
Coach Knight retired as a coach from Texas Tech in 2008, but has now become an analyst for ESPN. He retired from coaching but will never retire from the game. It's merely who he is.
It's merely human nature.