Fire with fire

Bob Knight tried to run Andre Emmett out of town. Now coach is his biggest fan.

Originally Published: January 5, 2004
By Tim Keown | ESPN The Magazine
You look at 63-year-old Bob Knight, sitting at a table as he deconstructs a basketball game from the inside out, and you wonder why he still puts himself through it. There are maybe 15 people seated before and below him; more than half of them fidget and sigh, praying for one or two snappy quotes they can toss into a story and send off before deadline. This is after an early December game, played in a half-empty arena against a sluggish UTEP team in the dry town of Lubbock, where a third-floor hotel room offers a view clear to New Mexico. Texas Tech won easily, sure, but it's now 10 p.m. and the game won't live in anyone's mind past midnight.

Knight runs his right hand through his untamed white hair and talks in a cold-induced rasp. Then, slowly, he looks up from the box score in his left hand. His eyes narrow. His voice tightens and demands attention. Suddenly, there is energy. Not just any energy, but Bob Knight energy.

Tim Keown | email

ESPN Senior Writer