by John Feinstein ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 21, 1986
An inside-the-locker-room peek at the Vince Lombardi of college basketball--Knight, who has over the years led Indiana to the highest ranks of NCAA competition, as well as coaching the 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team. Feinstein, college basketball correspondent for the Washington Post, spent the 1985-86 season with Knight and his team as Knight attempted to lead a miraculous recovery from the debacle of 1984-85, when Indiana finished under .500 for the first time in 14 years. What emerges is a picture of the complete sports dictator, a man incapable of accepting defeat or even second-best status, yet a man who can evince the highest realms of caring for players and ex-players in difficulties. Knight is shown humiliating players, cajoling others to berate their fellow teammates when they play lackadaisically, and generally bullying his players. This is not for the squeamish, either. Feinstein quotes all of Knight's tirades, however gross--e.g., after watching a tape of a practice: ""I'd like to know when somebody in here is going to go up and grab somebody and punch them when they watch this bullshit. . . People I played with in college would have killed you people if you pulled that shit on them."" It worked: Indiana was resurrected to one of the top teams in the country. Excellent and unusual coverage of an entire season that will thrill devotees of the game. And when one considers that Knight is only 46 and has already won 438 college games, what one might be reading is a chronicle of a legend. Engrossing for a wide audience.
Pub Date: Nov. 21, 1986
Page Count: -
Review Posted Online: N/A
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 1986
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