Malaka Of The Week: Bob Knight

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I never thought I’d have Bob Knight to kick around again; until, that is, he oozed out of whatever hole he’s been hiding to endorse Donald Trump. As far as I’m concerned, the former Indiana Hoosier basketball coach epitomizes everything that’s wrong about the old school hard ass coaching style that has mercifully become less common in recent years. He’s the perfect Trump supporter: an angry old white dude looking to rumble with uppity women and minorities. Knight thinks he knows best, and that is why Bob Knight is malaka of the week.

The chair throwing incident pictured at the top of the post took place during a game against in-state and conference rival Purdue in 1985. Oddly enough the opposing coach, Gene Keady, has also endorsed the Insult Comedian. I shouldn’t have dubbed it odd as explained in a piece by Jack Moore at the Daily Beast, Shouty Old White Coaches Heart Donald Trump:

Knight commends Trump’s can-do spirit. As he told TIME, “He’s pretty good at looking at things and deciding what has to be done, and then getting it done.”

Keady, on the other hand, loves Trump’s foreign policy. “I heard his foreign policy speech the other day. I just said he won himself the presidency,” he told theWashington Examiner.

These men who spent their lives meticulously shaping their teams through hard-line discipline see that same spirit when Trump threatens Black Lives Matters protestors and promises crackdowns on illegal immigrants from Mexico. Coaches see Trump expressing the same kind of my-way-or-the-highway sentiments they have used on their teams for ages.

Coaches see themselves as molding boys into men through hard work and discipline, and thus they can see themselves in Trump’s promises to Make America Great Again through a return to the values of bootstraps conservatism, a submission to authority and hard work.

Those days, if they ever existed, are long gone, but Bob Knight thinks if you scream loud and long enough at someone, you’re helping them. The chair throwing incident is only the most flamboyant example of his malakatude. I’ll let Dave Zirin provide more details about Trump and Knight’s brotherhood of bullies:

They both play the role of “tough guys,” when it is far more apt to describe them as bullies attacking those whom they perceive as ripe, easy targets. Just as Donald Trump is literally giving nightmares to the immigrant children who go to my son’s elementary school, Knight made his players afraid not because he was bigger or stronger but because he had power. That meant he could choke or punch them or shove used toilet paper in their faces, in full knowledge that they’d never be able to give it back. They both also—like so many “chickenhawks” of their generation—revere the US military as grown men, yet did what they had to do to stay out of the Vietnam War. I have no criticism of anyone who stayed out of Vietnam. But their calls for other people’s children to die overseas make it matter. Perhaps that’s why another word their critics use—often—to describe them both is “coward.” Trump has been called a “coward” too many times to count during this campaign, perhaps most memorably by Ted Cruz, who used the phrase “sniveling coward” when Trump attacked his wife’s appearance.

According to former NBA coach Butch Carter, who played at Indiana, Knight once screamed at a black player that he would end up like “all the rest of the n——— in Chicago, including your brothers.” Carter calls Knight a “self-serving coward.”

These stories are just the tip of the iceberg with Knight. His career is not marked by toughness but by thuggish entitlement, which in many respects make him absolutely perfect for Trump: the latest in a rogue’s gallery of sports heroes who see Trump in themselves.

I know that was a long quote but Dave and Butch Carter nail Malaka Bob to the wall better than I can. Like Donald Trump, Bob Knight is a toddler in a grown-up’s body: pitching fits, throwing tantrums whenever they don’t get their own way. That’s no way to run a basketball team, let alone a country, in the 21st Century. And that’s why Bob Knight is malaka of the week.

4 thoughts on “Malaka Of The Week: Bob Knight

  1. Abusing your star-struck scholarship players is one thing; it’s quite another to try to bully someone who not only can strike back, but will do so in a disproportionate way. It’s comforting to think that we can sweep aside the problem of international terrorism with some carnival barking and snarling. The reality is that schoolyard taunts will get more people killed, and serve as a valuable recruiting tool.

    This is caveman foreign policy, the idea that you can solve any problem if you beat on it enough with a big enough club.

  2. Gene Keady is just as big an asshole as Knight. He just didn’t get as much publicity.

    1. He never won a national championship. It’s the only difference between two dreadful men.

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