Bob Knight got in his jabs at Kentucky a few weeks ago, then ESPN told him to cut it out. As the Wildcats made a run to John Calipari’s first title, Knight was powerless to take any swipes at the best team in college basketball. But now that the season is over, and all of the Kentucky talk has turned to how many starters are going to declare for the NBA Draft – it might be all five (two sophomores, three freshman) – Knight is leaping back into the spotlight and ripping Kentucky and Calipari.
“I think it’s a disgrace,” Knight said of players who attend college for one year to fulfill the NBA’s requirement to be drafted. “If I was an NBA general manager, I would never want to take a kid 18, 19 years old, a year out of college. I’d wait until someone else worked two or three years with him to adjust him to the NBA and I’d trade a draft pick.”
Don’t hate the playa (Calipari) or the players (Davis, etc), Knight … hate the game. That’s the system the NCAA has in place. Calipari is taking full advantage of it. Every other coach in the country could do the same if they so desired – load up on elite players who are going to stick around Westwood or Gainesville or Chapel Hill or Austin for one year.
As for the NBA GM comment, that makes zero sense. Good luck finding anyone who is going to trade the No. 1 pick with Anthony Davis on the board. He put up numbers as a freshman that rivaled what Ewing, Olajuwon and Duncan (among others) did in their first year.
Wonder what Knight would think about this William Rhoden column.
If the core of the Kentucky team had been made up of white players with phenomenal athleticism and acumen at every position — operating in the context of a largely black sport — we would not be hearing the complaining. Their success would not be seen as a debasement. The team would be celebrated and feted — as Butler was, as Gonzaga used to be.
Last week, I asked Tom Izzo, the basketball coach at Michigan State, if he thought a highly talented, highly athletic team of white players would be viewed differently.
“I want to answer that as honestly as I can,” Izzo said. “I think it would be different. I hate to say that.”
Previously: Bobby Knight Might Have Fallen Asleep On Set During ESPN’s College GameDay
Previously: Video: Bob Knight Said “Kentucky” and We Can All Go Back to Ignoring the Bully Once Again
Previously: Bobby Knight Still Won’t Talk About Kentucky, Not Even When You Try Him on His Cell Phone