Former players, coaching peers and others react to the passing of Bob Knight

  • 11/02/2023 8:48 am in

Former IU coach and Hall of Famer Bob Knight passed away Wednesday at the age of 83 in Bloomington.

Tributes and statements rolled in immediately on social media and we’ve gathered many of them below:

Keith Smart

“Every stage of my life from the minute I stepped foot on IU’s campus Coach had a part in my development and thinking. Teaching life skills through basketball!! From my family to Coach Knight’s family our love and prayers. We will miss him!!”

A.J. Guyton

“My thoughts and prayers are with the Knight family during this difficult time. The experience playing for Coach Knight is one I wouldn’t trade for anything. I can say, I definitely got the most hugs from him as a player! Rest now Coach”

Kirk Haston

“Coach showed me the value of competing, he showed me what hard work really was, he showed me the door if I was lacking in either, & he showed us all how to succeed on more than just a basketball floor.”

Damon Bailey

“I think for all the fault he may have had, or was perceived to have had, the people who were closest to him, like his players, there were very few bad things that you heard. Obviously the public and the media can think what they want; for those of us who played for coach, we may not have always agreed with him, but he taught us a lot of life lessons through basketball. There are things I do today that I learned from coach Knight.”

Don Fischer

“Having watched him for 27 of the 29 years he was here, I’ve never seen a basketball coach at the college level do the things that he did on a consistent basis, take the talent that he had and work with it like he did.”

Jordan Hulls

“As a kid, Coach Knight and the Hoosiers were all I knew. My dad/fam. taught basketball using his principles and importance of attention to detail/fundamentals. I’m forever grateful for those basketball lessons that then became life lessons. Thanks for everything, Coach.”

Dusty May

“Bob Knight was truly a legend in every sense of the word. The impact that he had on me and so many others simply can’t be measured. Today we lost one of the greatest coaches in the history of sports. My thoughts are with his family at this time. RIP Coach.”

Eric Gordon

“R.I.P. COACH KNIGHT We lost a great one today. A true teacher and leader. He will be truly missed!!!!”

Mackenzie Holmes

“Bob Knight built Indiana basketball. He built the foundation. He instilled the intangibles that we look for here on the men’s and women’s side.”

Tom Crean

“Although we never got him back to Indiana to be honored on our watch, I was so thankful when he finally did return. We were always going to REVERE what he accomplished and who he accomplished it with. Our deepest condolences.”

Mike Krzyzewski

“We lost one of the greatest coaches in the history of basketball today. Clearly, he was one of a kind. Coach Knight recruited me, mentored me, and had a profound impact on my career and in my life. This is a tremendous loss for our sport and our family is deeply saddened by his passing. We offer our sincerest condolences to Karen, Tim, Pat, and their families during this difficult time.”

Earvin “Magic” Johnson

“Rest in peace to Hall of Fame basketball coach Bobby Knight! I remember when he came to recruit me at Everett High School right after they went 32-0 and won the National Championship in 1976. All 1200 students skipped class that day because they wanted to catch a glimpse of the legendary Coach Knight. A true champion! Cookie and I are praying for the entire Knight family and all of his loved ones.”

Roy Williams

“Coach (Dean) Smith was certainly my mentor, but the next guy for me was Bob Knight. I played golf with him, watched baseball with him, watching his practices my first year as a head coach, but more importantly I appreciated the help he gave me in my coaching career. He acted like I was one of his guys and made me so much better. He was one of my heroes and I will be forever grateful to him.”

Dick Vitale

“So sorry to learn of the passing of Bob Knight who was so good in his prime teaching how to play the game.Always loved talking hoops with him over the years. My heart goes out to Karen the love of his life & his family & friends.”

Jay Bilas

“RIP to the legendary Bob Knight. He was an American original. I had the honor of knowing him well, and while he wasn’t for everyone, I always truly liked, respected and admired him. As he once said of Henry Iba, of all the shadows cast in the game, his was the longest.”

Adam Sandler

“Sending love to coach’s family. Won’t ever forget how much fun we had together making Anger Management. And won’t ever forget my pop being sick and Bobby calling him to lift his spirits. RIP Bobby”

Fran Fraschilla

“I grew up studying the brilliance of his coaching at Indiana. Like many, I saw the good & bad. As a broadcaster, I incurred the wrath but saw the many kind gestures behind the scenes. I broadcast his final 3 games with him at ESPN at the NIT. One of a kind. RIP, Bob.”

Rece Davis

“Bob a complicated man. But he was my friend. I loved working with him. I’ve never seen anyone who had friends from all walks of life more loyal to him. When I last spoke to him he said, “my boy, we had some good times didn’t we?” Yes Coach. We sure did.”

Indiana Pacers

“Coach Knight was truly one of a king, with a passion for the sport and a personality that was larger than life on and off the court. In the state where basketball is life, he came to personify the game for countless Hoosiers and millions of others across the world. He will be missed terribly and we at Pacers Sports & Entertainment keep him and his family in our prayers.”

Purdue men’s basketball

“Our thoughts and prayers go to the Indiana basketball and Knight families at the passing of legendary head coach Bob Knight. College basketball was impacted greatly by Coach Knight and he will be missed.”

USA Basketball

“USA Basketball celebrates the life & legacy of coaching legend Bob Knight. Coach Knight led U.S. teams to gold medals at the 1979 Pan American Games & the 1984 Olympics. We remember Coach Knight’s contributions to the game & send our condolences to his loved ones.”

Ohio State men’s basketball

“The Ohio State Men’s Basketball Program mourns the loss of Bob Knight, a legend of college basketball. Our thoughts and prayers are with Coach Knight, his family, friends, teammates, and former players.”

Dan Gavitt

“Bob Knight’s impact on college basketball has been felt for more than six decades, beginning with being a member of the 1960 national championship team at Ohio State and continuing as one of the most successful coaches in the history of the sport. That included more than 100 wins at Army and Texas Tech, sandwiched around more than 600 wins and three national championships at Indiana. Coach Knight will be remembered as a leader whose players had unyielding loyalty to him long after their playing careers concluded. The NCAA sends its condolences to those players, as well as the family and friends of one of the game’s legendary coaches.”

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