Success and Motivation: What I learned from Bobby Knight

Congrats on more wins than any other coach in NCAA Div 1 Basketball. Thats quite an accomplishment.

There are a lot of things I could say thank you for. The great times watching IU Basketball. (even though I wasnt a fan when I got there. I thought any team with Kent Benson should go undefeated).

The first time I met you at IU at the Deans residence where they tried to butter me up with a fancy lunch and we both showed up in sweaters. (AT least I got to wear jeans :)

The time you spent talking to me down in Miami.

But thats not really what I appreciate most about you.

When I was at Indiana you were on 60 Minutes. In your interview you said one single thing that I took to heart. I reminded myself of it while it was in school at Indiana. I reminded myself of it when I failed. I reminded myself of it before any of the many businesses I have started I will continue to remind myself before any of my endeavors going forward. Its also the best advice I’ve been able to give people of any age who ask me for advice.

Its also the characteristic I look for when choosing a partner or hiring. I saw it in Avery Johnson. Ive seen it in Phil Garvin. It was obvious in Todd Wagner and Martin Woodall and many, many others that have put me in a position to succeed.

You said, and Im paraphrasing: “Everyone has got the will to win, its only those with the will to prepare that do win”

Words for every athlete and those of us who partake in the Sport of Business to live by

Thanks Coach.

m,

79 thoughts on “Success and Motivation: What I learned from Bobby Knight

  1. Aloha Mark ~

    I use the same basic principle, just changing the words and context around. Same meaning.

    When I was a rookie office equipment salesman cold calling Downtown Los Angeles (talk about challenge) my sales manager told me \”Luck is where Preparation Meets Opportunity\”.

    I have changed it over the years to Luck is where Preparation Creates Opportunity. Nothing happens by accident, especially luck. I take it further and I try to make things happen. I don\’t see things just happening.

    On the same note, Zig Zigglers acronym for FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) is another phrase dear to my heart.

    I love Bob Knight, it is why I went to IU. I have had correspondence with him over the years and one day look forward to chat face to face with him.

    Peace & Goodness

    Erik the Artist

    http://www.eriktheartist.com

    http://www.myspace.com/eriktheartist

    http://www.youtube.com/eriktheartist

    Comment by Erik the Artist -

  2. Mark,

    Having just discovered your entries on motivation and success, I just want to thank you for sharing this story about Bobby Knight. What a gem!

    Preparation along with the desire to win is KEY!

    I\’m looking forward to reading the rest of your posts related to these important life topics.

    Best,

    Scott Hove
    Mr. Motivational Speaker
    http://www.mrmotivationalspeaker.com/

    Comment by Scott Hove -

  3. Born and raised in Indiana, and graduated from IU. But I\’ve never liked Bobby Knight. I do think what MC points out from him is a true and great philosophy, but I think Knight is a spoiled bully who feels he should be allowed to do and say whatever he wants in the pursuit of winning. And THAT is unacceptable- I don\’t care who or where you are.

    Comment by Shell -

  4. Wow! Thanks for reminding me that I should change my ways or I\’ll end up a big loser.

    Comment by George Lindemann -

  5. Love your quote! There is another one that I like – Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

    Comment by Ord -

  6. I read an article on you that AOL posted a while back and I have used that same quote which I now learned you paraphrase sometime BK said and used it as my quote under my signature on all my emails. Should I change it to Bobby instead of you?

    Comment by Chris Cox -

  7. Thanks Mark for sharing you experience with Bob Knight. Getting input from others is a great way to better yourself. For those people who don’t get to interact with these types of people every day I have found that listening can be just as helpful. Garbage in, garbage out; I found this site and have found their weekly downloads a great influence. http://www.madeforsuccess.net/default.asp?AFF=475

    Thanks again for sharing!

    Comment by Josh -

  8. We can also create our own luck.

    Luck is where Preparation meets Opportunity.

    Peace.. ETA

    IU 1990

    Comment by Erik the Artist -

  9. Interesting post, interesting character. Bobby Knight is a real contradiction, in some ways he represents both the best and worst. He represents the best in terms of working hard and supposedly running the cleanest program out there (some of the programs the media worships are actually not so clean). The media is so biased in this area, His work ethic also helps his players later in life, by teaching them you need to work really hard to achieve your goals, it doesn’t just happen. He doesn’t accept laziness and sloppiness and he is totally right in this regard.

    I think some major temper tantrums are not nearly as bad as some of the coaches that are jerks in private and use the players. One of his major faults is an inability to let things go, harbor grudges, things like that. I thought the Neil Reed kid got a raw deal, he was supposedly a real hardnosed kid who was used as a whipping boy.

    Comment by Corey K. Tournet -

  10. Life is all about will power. I’ve seen many of my friends who aren’t considered smart get much farther than the ones that were A+ students because they took the time to work on the things that would get them to their goal. However they don’t throw chairs.

    Comment by postfiler -

  11. This is so true Mark…thanks for sharing. Everyone is looking for instant gratification these days, especially in business. Those who jump in without preparation are most likely to fail. You have to look at the big picture, develop a stategy, and then go at it with 100% of your energy in order to win.

    Comment by Andrew N. -

  12. Mark,
    Good piece on Bobby Knight—his formula is actually taken right out of “Think and Grow Rich” written by Napolean Hill which was published in 1937 which lays out Andrew Carnegie’s “secret forumula” for success. Lombardi did not think it up—just Knight and Lombardi (and Avery Johnson) implement the formula well.
    Brady

    Comment by brady baxter -

  13. “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

    “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”

    If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.”

    “The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy’s not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable.”

    “Supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”

    Sun Tzu :)

    Comment by Kevin -

  14. good read … http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/scorecard/01/09/qa.knight/index.html

    Comment by mark -

  15. Mark, I’m’ a huge Bob Knight fan and always wondered if you’d had a chance to meet him. Here’s something else Coach Knight says regarding self discipline, and it applies to business as well:

    (Self) discipline comes down to four things:
    Do what you have to do, when it has to be done; do it to the best of your ability, and do it that way all of the time.

    People will surely argue, but Coach follows that guideline. I’ve used it in my own coaching and in my business, as well as taught it to my own children.

    Comment by Rick Cole -

  16. I graduated from I.U. in ’76 and ‘Hoosier Hysteria’ reigned supreme-Bobby only lost one game in two years. Unfortunately, it was the National Championship game with Kentucky, but it was a situation where whoever had the ball last was going to win. They had Benson, Buckner, Wilkerson, May, and the the seventh man on the squad played pro ball for the Lakers.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your comments, Mark. This philosophy in part enabled me to retire early as an I.T. headhunter and now I buy and sell Sport Card Memorabilia when I’m not playing ACBL bridge like Bill Gates.

    A friend of mine took Knights’ course in basketball tactics at I.U. and found it a little weird when he started talking about pivoting like Von Schlieffen did in WWI. It all had a ‘Pattonesque’ quality to it. Bobby was hardcore to say the least, but sometime you have to be to win.

    The saddest moment of my blissful childhood was when all my heroes moved to Minnesota and became the Twins. The expansion Senators are now the Rangers. They haven’t won in 45 years. And I’ve suffered this long. Can’t you buy them, too? They need you more than Roger Clemens!

    Jim

    Comment by Jim Bufkins -

  17. The will to win is nothing without the will to prepare to win. Vince Lombardi,legendary football coach for the Green Bay Packers

    Comment by Jim Sanders -

  18. Nice blog, useful subjects…. kiss

    Comment by Excalibur -

  19. Reminds me of a quote I once heard Jimmy Connors say:
    “I’ve always hated losing more than I loved winning”

    Comment by Jarid -

  20. Heyguys check this out, http://www.MarkCubanRocks.com – hisfan site

    Comment by Richie -

  21. He is a legend. I think playing “I did it my way” after the game was a little odd. What does that mean: everyone does it their way.

    Comment by wailea -

  22. Yeah, Knight’s pretty much the man.

    Comment by Please Eat My Pies -

  23. Thank you, Mark Cuban, for remembering that wonderful quote from Coach Knight. Being a former resident of Indiana and a former student at I.U. before Coach Knight arrived, I must say I am not yet, nor will ever get over the firing of Coach Knight. I drove to Bloomington to hear him speak to the fans for the last time and to this day I still don’t believe the State of Indiana allowed it to go down the way it did. Coach Robert M. Knight is a man dedicated to teaching young men to be the best they can be, whether on the basketball court, in business, or any endeavor they might chose. The millions of dollars Coach Knight raised for I.U’s library and now doing the same for Texas Tech speaks volumes. The fact that his program has never been investigated and the number of graduates to come out of his program is one in a million. I stood in line for 5+ hours in Terre Haute in order for him to sign my book which was written by him after leaving Indiana. This man was a gentleman and gratious. Thank you, Coach Knight for all that you do. You have done it “your way”, and I, for one, am glad you did. I watch Texas Tech whenever I can get their games. Good luck to you and Mark Cuban.

    Comment by Cyril-Ann -

  24. Really loved reading that entry!

    Thank you for sharing that information with us.

    Comment by JAL -

  25. “Everyone has got the will to win, its only those with the will to prepare that do win”.
    I think it’s true not only about sports and business but about everything in our life where
    we want to be successful. Thanks for reminding about this.

    Comment by Helen -

  26. Bob Knight is the General! He is someone to listen to and learn from. People have been giving him a bad rap lately due to his approach without looking at the results of his approach and I am sick of it.

    It seems the prevailing attitude in the country is that hard work and discipline is the wrong way and that coddling is the right way. I’m looking around at the coddling crowd and am stunned at the lack of “willingness to prepare to win”. They expect others to lie down and give them everything because that’s how they’ve been raised. It scares me as an American.

    Comment by Scott G. F. -

  27. Mark,
    You got Bobby Knight. I got John Wooden: “Never let what you can’t do get in the way of what you can.”

    Bruin philosophy runs deep out here on the west coast. Cheers, Thomas

    Comment by Thomas Molitor -

  28. Indeed a great post, thanks for sharing, we always need to keep ideals in our mind to motivate ourself.

    Comment by Windows Hosting -

  29. Tough loss to the Lakers tonight Mark. It was a great game.

    Comment by basketball drills -

  30. What I learned from Bobby.. was what a role model was not supposed to be..

    the guy should be in jail. not be given awards.

    Comment by Mike Verinder -

  31. I am watching the Mavs play the Lakers and the announcers are interviewing some actor instead of calling the game for most of the second quarter. I am a fan but not a basketball person. It is very distracting to the game on the court. I will watch without sound or listen to the radio. These guys need to call the plays and stay focused for the fans. We went ahead with no rah! rah! and color comments Go Mavs!

    Comment by Judith Jameson -

  32. That is very very true. Good stuff. Now that you are where you’re at and have a very popular blog that phrase will live longer.

    Comment by Browie.com -

  33. very inspirational quote. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

    Bob Knight realized this early on, and I think the majority of his success is due to his rigorous game planning and simple understanding of the game.

    He runs the motion offense, maybe the simplest offensive set in basketball. In the end, simplicity runs.

    Comment by TJP -

  34. “The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.”

    Joe Paterno

    Please assign correctly.

    Comment by Lucy Ann Wiggins -

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    If you want more spam, or have issues with the spam send me an email at milford_matthew@yahoo.com

    Comment by Spam Message -

  36. the cliches don’t help much.

    would be better to hear specifics as to philosophy.

    is it faith and feelings that Coach Knight uses to help him prepare? or reason and knowledge?

    what has sustained and motivated Coach Knight over the years?

    how does he ‘coach’ a group of young men with a variety of philosophies?

    i need to read more about coach knight, i have only seen him on tv while he is angry at a bunch of reporters

    Comment by karl meisenbach -

  37. I love it and it’s so true for any endeavor. Thank you once again for the inspirational message.

    Comment by Amy -

  38. Being an ’87 IU Telecom grad, I always knew he’d eventually win the most ever. Don’t forget some of his other quotes, too, like All of us learn to write in the second grade. Most of us go on to greater things. He never dunked, but The Man could always slam. Hey Mark, did you get to Ladyman’s last time you were here (for rugby in Bloomington)? They just closed it, sniff… another landmark bites the dust. With love from Bloomington. Kev

    Comment by Kevin Boyle -

  39. Congratulations on your 13 straight win.

    Comment by Laura -

  40. Knight is a great coach, but Mark, would you rather have a son coached by Knight or Coach K?

    Comment by basketball drills -

  41. KY wildcat here, remember seeing it when I was young, I was watching espn classics and they had the 60 minutes interview on there, I taped it and have had my sons watch the interview. I share this with my sales team quite often as well to show that you have to be willing to put in the time to prepare for the call in order for it to be sucessful.

    Comment by jack -

  42. Hello Mark I would not normally do this, but last night i had a dream that i was talking to you about my company and asking you how to take it from poverty to plentiful. I know that you are the right person and that you got your start on the internet, i have just graduated from college in Business and marketing but i was not really prepared for this. Please help by being a mentor to me. I am located in Bastrop La, but I am willing to drive to Dallas for your help, even if you just want to talk to me about it. I help is greatly appretiated!!

    THANKING YOU IN ADVANCE
    Willie Stephens Jr.
    stephensw2003@yahoo.com

    Comment by Willie Stephens Jr -

  43. In our business life we all want Success and we all need Motivation. Thanks for sharing…

    Comment by Kairi -

  44. Mark, I love the comment you made about the business of owning the Mavs, ‘our business was making soar throats from screaming…”

    A genius marketing professor once taught me about a drill company. They realized that their core compentency shouldn’t be ‘making drill bits’ but instead ‘making holes.’ That’s a perfect parallel to what you said.

    I currently have a sore throat. …and I hope nobody was terribly offending when I yelled F* yeah when Jho made the steal to put the nail in the spurs.

    It’s weird in some ways to think, as a business man, I may very well come to admire you as an incredible sports-team owner instead of businessman. But is it really that different? Busting your ass pays off no matter what you’re doing.

    mavs2k7

    Comment by Elliott -

  45. The Mavs started off a little rocky, but now that they’re back in the groove, they’re on fire.

    Comment by basketball drills -

  46. Mark I did some math that I wanted you to see… pretty interesting stuff…
    I decided to do a little bit of statistics about the playoff series last season but I know the stats don’t account for the times the Mavericks were fouled and didn’t get a whistle or the times where the other teams coach is at center court cursing at the refs and don’t receive the technical when Avery Johnson gets thrown out for breathing near the refs…

    Championship

    FT
    Miami—-19+32+34+36+49+37
    =207
    Dallas—26+28+26+27+25+23
    =155… Miami +52
    Fouls
    Miami—-25+23+23+26+26+23
    =146
    Dallas—18+27+29+24+38+28
    =164 Dallas +18
    In the series 3 of 4 mavs losses were decided by 3 points or less (1,2,3 points)
    ————————–
    ————————–
    ——————
    The 9 Games where mavs lost in playoffs…

    FT Attempts
    Opponent-34+36+49+37+29+21
    +30+31+34=301
    Dallas—26+27+25+23+23+22
    +28+19+20=213…. Dallas -88

    Fouls
    Opponent-23+26+26+23+20+23
    +20+19+19=199
    Dallas—29+24+38+28+26+22
    +24+26+29=246…. Dallas +47

    Yes that’s correct (using ESPN.com’s stats) in the playoffs last year the mavericks had 47 more fouls called against them than their opponents and shot nearly 10 less shots from the charity stripe per game…

    2006-2007 season
    Mavs- 2
    Spurs- 1

    Fouls:
    Mavs- 28+24+25=77
    Spurs- 16+17+17=50

    Free Throw Attempts:
    Mavs- 16+15+20=51
    Spurs- 37+25+31=93
    Game 1: SA by 6 (SA shot 21 more free throws)
    Game 2: Mavs by 3 (SA shot 10 more free throws)
    Game 3: Mavs by 5 (SA shot 11 more free throws)

    Dallas is an 80% free throw shooting team assuming they got to shoot as many free throws as the spurs the scores would be as follows (Math done to the side)…
    Game 1: Mavs by 11 ((37-16)*.8)-6)
    Game 2: Mavs by 11 ((25-15)*.8)+3)
    Game 3: Mavs by 14 ((31-20)*.8)+5)
    *Note these are only statistically based and does not account for the points that would have been scored had the mavs players that had 5 fouls been able to play their regular minutes

    Comment by Brian -

  47. PS: Amen TP, GO PACK, Brett’s definitely coming back

    Comment by AJ -

  48. Cubes, well said. Bobby K is definitely one of the most misunderstood and fascinating leaders of our time.

    I just have a quick question: do you REALLY think Avery Johnson is in this class of leader? And if, as you say, you truly saw “it” in him, why not hire him (when he was an assistant) over Don Nelson (who was conspicuously absent within your list of such leaders) in the early times of your ownership? I’m not trying to rip on ya, Cubes, but in those days, when the Mavs clearly lacked the edge they have now (the “no D in ‘Dallas'” era), and knowing the guts you’ve had to do things your way, why wouldn’t you just go ahead and make it happen? Lord only knows what kind of force those Mavs would have been if you had pulled the trigger on your instincts, with a tougher-nosed coach leading the likes of Michael Finley in his prime, a future 2-(perhaps 3?) time MVP in Stevie Nash, and of course, The Franchise, along with rookies Josh Howard and Devin Harris.

    Comment by AJ -

  49. You said, and Im paraphrasing: “Everyone has got the will to win, its only those with the will to prepare that do win”

    great – then do you clang a potted plant off a little old lady’s head? Knight is nothing more than a pathetic bully. I can’t express how wonderful it is to watch him rot in Lubbock Tx at a school that doesn’t care about basketball and can’t sell out a game. Knight has gotten the Hell he deserves. Oh, and Coach K is going to take your record – live through that mf’er.

    Comment by Bill Leslie -

  50. Mark, OT — In “My Wiki is Your Wiki,” the item where you went after a reporter on the basis of an anonymous tip, it looks as if the tip was proven wrong and that it originated from Judd Bagley of Overstock.com. Here are the relevant links:

    http://garyweiss.blogspot.com/2006/11/baloney-brigades-assault-on-wikipedia.html
    http://garyweiss.blogspot.com/2007/01/overstalkcom.html

    What do you think, Mark? Any apologies owed here?

    Don’t you feel foolish being manipulated by a company that you hate enough to short?

    Comment by Sam Robards -

  51. Well there is only so far you can go on trying to “wing” it…
    Planning and preperation gives you the motivation to reach your goals.

    Comment by Daniel -

  52. CORRECTION! CORRECTION! CORRECTION!

    Hey Mark,

    Thats a great quote, but I’m sure The General doesnt always give credit to the origin of the quote so I will for you.

    The famous misquote from Vince Lombardi “Winning isnt everything is the only thing” was never uttered by Saint Vince.

    What Lombardi actually said was: “Winning isnt everything, but the will to win is”. The “will to prepare” is the same as “willing to do what it takes” what Lombardi meant.

    I’m glad you have gotten a lot out of the quote as I have from Lombardi, but lets give credit where credit is due!

    Go Pack!

    TP

    Comment by Sean Doyle (TP) -

  53. It’s interesting to see the typical fans reaction to a record that even Coach Knight insists has more to do with longevity than anything else. While I have seen, ad infinitum on ESPN, the few incidents in Coach Knights career that might reflect negatively on him I am much more impressed by the fact that he believed in TEACHING his players not only about basketball but about life. There are thousands of college basketball players that graduate every year and how many go on to play professionally, maybe 15 a year. It doesn’t matter how many great players he had, what really matters is that all of his players had a great coach and teacher.

    Comment by MIke Genette -

  54. There’s no joking today….

    I appreciate your sharing those words. I’ve written them down.

    And three cheers to Coach Night!

    AP

    Comment by AP -

  55. First of all, Bob Knight is the greatest coach in college basketball history. He won more games than Dean Smith while only coaching one NBA all star. Smith coached 12 future all stars. He also did it with discipline and still managed to graduate a very high percentage of his players. Much respect goes to coach for that one. As for you Mark, I saw a clip of you on sportscenter this morning from the Pacers game last night. You are definitely looking like you’ve been hitting the weights. Could you comment on what your daily routine is?

    Comment by Greg Devor -

  56. Over the years, I’ve discovered that people’s opinion of me is always bipolar…some love me, some don’t. It used to bother me until you look at every person to impact history, peoples opinions of thm in the moment is bipolar and then long term, they become more than a footnote. Amen to Bob, Trump, Rush, O’Reilly, Hillary, etc. If everybody likes something, it must be good..but not great.

    Comment by David Armstrong -

  57. Regarding #15 and Coach K’s graduation rate.

    I wonder what the graduation rate would be if all of his players that left to go early were not counted against the graduation rate. After all, leaving college early to go get the job you were preparing for all along shouldn’t really reflect poorly on the school or coach.

    And for the record, I hate Duke and Coach K…but not for that reason.

    Comment by Mike -

  58. To Carters point, less we not forget that Coach Knight won those games with only 1 (ONE, UNO, UN) NBA All-Star and no NCAA violations for recruiting…Pat Summitt has the CREAM of the crop in womens basketball as did Dean Smith (not to mention Coach K) and as for Rupp, well he had both a few all-stars and some violations under his belt. You got to wonder how these coaches would do with comparable talent?

    Whatever anyone thinks about his off the court actions there never has been a better teacher of the game.

    Comment by JBuck -

  59. Hey Carter, thanks for reminding us that Coach Knight’s wins were in Men’s NCAA basketball, because that is much more impressive than Summitt’s wins in Women’s NCAA basketball. The competition in women’s basketball is no where near that of the men’s. The two should not even be compared. The reason Knight’s accomplishment is talked about so much more in the media and around the water cooler, is because nobody cares about women’s basketball and nobody watches it on TV either.

    Comment by Jay C -

  60. I work with artist and that one phrase “Everyone has got the will to win, its only those with the will to prepare that do win”
    separates all of them. Everyone wants to be part of the Diddy and Hilton crowd but no one cares about the work. I think that is the burden that has been placed on everyone in this time. Because everything in life has been made so simple work ethic has paid the biggent cost. I have always felt that what makes a great artist (or businessperson for that matter) is someone who can make a priceless item in less than perfect conditions. But regardless of where you are and what you have to work with you have to be willing to bear down and work. I dont know when that interview took place but like all true things it still holds its weight…

    Comment by Brad Andrews -

  61. Adam L was right.. I appreciate the Generals work just being around it and going to school in Indiana (NOT IU). Kinda makes ya wonder…

    But none the less.. Congrats Coach!

    PS: Love the Hoosiers coming out on the blog!

    Comment by Brewer -

  62. Full comments all time.

    Comment by Fokk -

  63. Whats going on with Icerocket Mark? Every time I ping I get a failure, “operation timed out”. Are you still funding that? Do they have money for hardware?

    Comment by damon -

  64. Well put, Mark. I kept waiting for the punchline, but your point is easily the best thing I’ve read here.

    Comment by solomonrex -

  65. Sure, he doesn’t have the win percentage that those others do. And yes, Coach K might eventually pass him up, many years down the road. However, what is Coach K’s grad rate of his players? I think it speaks volume for Coach Knight that he has amassed the number of wins that he has and still managed to get his players a college degree. I, for one, think it is more important that his players graduate with a degree that will help later in life, rather than post a higher winning percentage in order to make his stats look better. Bravo Coach for actually following through on your promise to recruits parents that their sons will actually get an education.

    Comment by John S. -

  66. Not to detract from Coach Knight’s impressive accomplishment, but let’s get the facts right. He does not hold the record for most wins in NCAA Division I basketball, he holds the record for most wins in MEN’S NCAA Division I basketball.

    He has quite a way to go before he can catch Pat Summitt, who has 926 wins and still counting. Even more impressive is Summitt’s winning percentage of .839 — among the 10 winningest men’s coaches only Adolph Rupp comes close with .822 and Knight is well behind at .713! To hold the overall Division I record, Knight would have to coach several seasons longer than Summitt, which seems unlikely given that she is 12 years younger.

    Comment by Carter -

  67. One thing I’ve noticed is that it’s hard to explain Bobby Knight to someone that didn’t go to Indiana or live in Indiana while he was coach. My first year at IU was two years after he was fired, and yet the conversations and arguments that people would get in to over the General were still going on and still as heated as they were when he was there. I remember my high school newspaper covering the Knight firing like it was national news. My father worked for a company in Lafayette and told me about how when the news came threw, a lot of the IU grads spent the rest of the day huddled around a TV watching ESPN, while the Purdue grads kept on working. Moreover, every Indiana fan has to wonder what might have been if Bobby Knight were still wearing the cream and crimson. Would Jason Gardner have joined Jared Jeffries on title run team? Would Sean May have been wearing his father’s cream and crimson instead of powder puff blue? Would Greg Oden be teamed with Josh McRoberts in a dominant Hoosiers team, poised for another title? These are the kinds of things that Indiana fans grapple with every time we watch a Texas Tech game. And we do watch Texas Tech games.

    More importantly though, Knight did what no other institution has ever done, and that is win without cheating. He may have never had all the blue chippers that he rightly deserved, but he got every ounce of talent out of the players he had. I’ve never heard a former Indiana player say that they were worse for having played under Coach Knight. He graduated more players than almost any other program. He never cheated. He never took the easy way out. And he still won in an era where 19 year old kids are killing themselves on the court for a chance at the NBA and millions of dollars, and where those same kids are surrounded by everybody with their hands out, from scouts to agents to show companies to big corporations.

    The exact quote was “Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win.” And, both in business, basketball, and life, truer words have rarely been spoken.

    Comment by Adam Licht -

  68. He’s a legend. But I bet Coach K will end up with more wins after all is said and done.

    Comment by basketball drills -

  69. So true!

    12 in a row; it sure feels good. Good luck on the road.

    Comment by Roxana -

  70. Great quote and great blog entry. It’s true. In business and sports, people want to take the easy way out.

    Comment by basketball -

  71. Knight has been an incredible coach and character to follow over the years…and I would guess he’s got several years left!

    Comment by South Bay -

  72. As great a post as it is, Frank D’s comment makes this blog entry all the better:

    “I’m amazed at how many people in my business try to “wing it” everyday. I’m equally amazed at how offended and upset they get when they get caught.”

    What an ace observation!

    Comment by P. Robitionate -

  73. Oh…….I loved reading that.

    Thanks for sharing with us.

    Comment by Toni Marano -

  74. Good you got something positive from ths dude man.
    I just can’t respect any person who said( in 1988 interview with Connie Chung)
    “I think that if rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it…

    Only an immoral idoit would say such a thing.
    btw Dean Smith is still the G.O.A.T of all college coaches.

    Comment by clt_Bobcats Watcher -

  75. Go Purdue!

    Comment by Joe -

  76. Nice post Mark! It also made me think of my past businesses and even all the way back to school.

    It’s so true… all of us want to be the best in business, the best athlete, the best friend or parent, but it’s the ones who put in the work and prepare that will really make it. We all have an opportunity to be our best at something, sports, business etc…, but whatever it is… make your dream come true by working hard and preparing.

    I was never a huge fan of coach Knight and remember saying I’d hate to play for him, but now that I’m 31 and have watched him over the years I have to admit that even though he loses his temper and even though he’s definitely crossed the line the one thing that stands out most is his pure desire to do anything to make sure his players succeed. Be it in basketball or in life.

    Congrats Coach Knight!

    Bryan

    Comment by Sports Blog -

  77. “Everyone has got the will to win, its only those with the will to prepare that do win”
    The 5 P’s…Proper Preparedness Prevents Poor Performance

    I too went to IU…with the great hope for a National Champ…think Cheany, Henderson, Meeks… I personally knew a few of them and one thing they would always mention about coach was how much he would have them prepared! If it just wasn’t for Duke….

    Thanks Mark for helping me to remember my 5 P’s!

    keep bloging

    j

    Comment by J Sandifer -

  78. Whatever you think of Knight, arguably the most polarizing figure in sports history, the words ring true. I’m amazed at how many people in my business try to “wing it” everyday. I’m equally amazed at how offended and upset they get when they get caught.

    Frank D.

    Comment by Frank D -

  79. Good stuff Cuban, thanks for sharing. Actually made me reflect over my overall character.

    Comment by robert -

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