Our sports biz writer, Tim Lemke, alerted me to an amusing exchange on an ESPN conference call today.
It’s amusing because it involves Bob Knight, who will again work for ESPN despite his insistence he’s not a member of the media. Knight, of course, is one of the few coaches who has a reputation for being as volcanic at times as Maryland’s Gary Williams.
Williams was brought up fairly early on in the call. And after Knight toyed a little with the questioner, he talked about a guy he coached against on a regular basis for three years when Williams worked at Ohio State in the 1980s:
“Gary Williams has done a great job coaching basketball at the University of Maryland. He’s right in the midst of one of the most heavily populated areas in the country and there obviously are a lot of basketball players in that area. But also, there are probably a greater number of schools that have good basketball teams recruiting in that area than anywhere else in the country. And I think that Gary just won the national championship a couple of years ago.
“I mean, there are guys that are pretty damn good coaches that coach a lifetime that never come close to winning a national championship. His teams have always been extremely competitive, and when you’re in a situation like they’re in, you can be very good and doing a very good job and it doesn’t look like you’re going to be rated in the top-five in the country.
“So if you want to compare my expertise in this game to those that are complaining about Gary Williams, then I think you should forget about those who complain about Gary Williams, because in the final analysis, what do they really know about it?”