On the Record

Coach Knight's most memorable quotes


"I fortunately have never worried about irritating people."
- Indianapolis Monthly, December 1982

"A player enters the Hall of Fame on his ability. A coach enters on the ability of his players."
- Referring to his induction to the National Basketball Hall of Fame, February 1991

Photo by David Snodgress, The Bloomington Herald-Times
Bob Knight at regionals press conference St. Louis. March 1993.

"Your biggest opponent isn't the other guy. It's human nature."
- Sports Illustrated, January 1981

"Discipline: doing what you have to do, and doing it as well as you possibly can, and doing it that way all the time."
- Sports Illustrated, January 1981

"I can't tell you - and I don't even like discussing it - the number of times I've gone home and said, 'God, I wish I hadn't gotten on that kid like that.' I wish I didn't think I had to get on him. Hey, I'm not - I never once said I'm perfect. I have made mistakes, but that really doesn't separate me from anyone else. Am I susceptible or liable to criticism? Certainly, and sometimes fairly."
- Bloomington Herald-Times, March 1994

"Congratulations on the birth of your first child. I'm glad to hear that mother and son are doing well.

P.S. Don't ever let your husband hold this kid over anything but a bed."
- Congratulating Uwe Blab's wife. Blab played for Knight at Indiana and was notorious for having trouble hanging onto the basketball.

"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
- Bob Knight, "His Own Man"

"A coach flies off the handle in public and everyone sees him. I'd like to be around to see what one of you guys does when somebody changes your copy."
- To a group of journalists, 1994

"For me to get an award from the press, I know there's been no favoritism."
- After being named AP Coach of the Year 1989

"I have often said this to some sanctimonious self-righteous critics that I have: 'I would hope that when judgment day comes, they don't appear before St. Peter's table with me, and only one space available for both of us, and the judgment being made on who has done the most for my fellow man. I have no doubt St. Peter will turn to me and say, 'Robert, pass through the gate.' "
- NBC interview with Bob Costas, March 1994

"Would it help you if I went back out and came back in walking on my hands or something?"
- Responding to question about why he didn't appear to enjoy coaching, 1992

"Hell, I don't even watch the pros. If the NBA was on Channel 5 and a bunch of frogs making love were on Channel 4, I'd watch the frogs - even if they came in fuzzy."
- On coaching in the pros

"Had Oklahoma forfeited that game against us like I suggested, they would have gotten far more positive publicity out of that than if they had gone to the Final Four that year. Now I guess the 'duck' is swimming on the other pond?"
- Commenting on the controversial ending of the 2006 Oklahoma-Oregon football game

"In my entire adult life, I've never used the expression 'game face.' I have no idea what that means or what you're supposed to do."
- Responding to a question at a 1992 NCAA Tourament press conference

"When my time on Earth is gone, and my activities here are past, I want that they should bury me upside down, so my critics can kiss my ass."
-Addressing crowd during senior day ceremonies 1994

"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."
- Bloomington Herald-Times, March 1994

"You are never going to be driven anywhere worthwhile, but you sure as hell drive yourself to a lot of great places. It is up to you to drive yourself there."
- Bloomington Herald-Times, November 1992

"God couldn't care less if we win or not. He is not going to parachute in through the roof of this building and score when we need points."
- Talking to Steve Alford, "Playing for Knight"

"I used to think I wanted to be a political cartoonist; you only need one idea a day. Then I thought I'd be a sportswriter; you don't need any ideas."
- More on usefulness of sports writers

"All of us learn to write in second grade, and most of us go on to better things."
-Sports Illustrated, January 1981

"Through testing of Big Ten officials it is found that 79 percent of them are not capable of counting correctly"
- Referring to a rule change taking away a five-second violation from a closely-guarded dribbler, November 1993

"I was doing undercover work at the Indiana Division of Natural Resources. They have been told that several quail have infiltrated southern Indiana, and they asked me to spend Sunday on a search and destroy mission. So I did."
- Knight's reason for missing the 1984 Big Ten pre-season press conference, Bloomington Herald-Times

"I've had all the challenges I need in my lifetime. I'd rather play against a really bad team"
- Responding to question asking if he enjoys facing tough defensive teams, Bloomington Herald-Times, March 1994

"The most important records we should keep are doctors' records. Like, this past month, Dr. Jones performed 19 operations, 11 lived, four died and four are hanging in there. I'm not sure my record or any other coach's record is all that important."
- Importance of the all-time wins record, in an interview with ESPN

"I was worried about losing until I looked down the floor and saw Dale Brown. Then I knew we had a chance."
-Commenting on that stormy 1987 game with LSU

"That kind of from the players reflects on the entire operation of the team. I'd rather have players concentrating on what we're going to do than on some clever, wiseass thing to say to somebody else."
-On trash-talking by basketball players.

"Richard, who the hell is going to guard him, God? God's not going to guard him Richard. The Methodists control God and they're not going to let us use him."
-To Richard Mandeville after a blown defensive assignment in practice.

RedRaiders.com