History was made in Lubbock, Texas on New Year's Day, but Robert Montgomery Knight's stomach had to be churning in the second half against New Mexico. Yes, the General got to the magical 880 win total, passing Dean Smith, but it did not come easily.
Knight's Texas Tech team was impressive in building a big lead. Give New Mexico credit for hitting some 3s in the second half to rally and take the lead, however. In the end, Martin Zeno, Jarrius Jackson and company came through with some big shots to help the Red Raiders get to the winner's circle 70-68. Alan Voskuil made a couple of key baskets in the second half as well.
|Knight made history in 2007.|
I don't think Knight wanted this game to be as dramatic as it was. You could feel the emotion during the game. Watching him on the sidelines, there was definite pressure. Trust me, he feels like a million bucks now that he has the record. He can stand tall as the winningest coach in college basketball. Knight is happy that the team can move forward and prepare for Big 12 play, starting with Oklahoma this weekend.
There is a side to the man that few people see. There are many good aspects about him that some people don't discuss, opting to point out some of the negatives. Yes, he has made mistakes and he has admitted there have been a few regrets, things he could have done better. He was able to show his emotions on Monday, and getting that number of wins is unique and special. I felt the special moments of the record affected him.
To me, Robert Montgomery Knight is the most compelling figure in the world of sports today.
The postgame ceremony was unbelievable, though it would have been even more special if someone from the University of Indiana was there to present a plaque or some kind of award. It still blows my mind that Knight is not in the school's athletic Hall of Fame even though he is eligible, but he is in Ohio State's. The Indiana administration should have been there in Lubbock given his 662 wins for the Bloomington-based school.
There are so many beautiful fans in Indiana who have a passion and love for their basketball. They appreciate what Knight achieved, winning three national titles and 11 Big Ten championships there. That's why I feel Indiana's administration should have presented something. Let bygones be bygones on both sides. I have often said that the building in Bloomington should be named after Knight for all of his accomplishments and the players he has graduated.
Indiana did send a message of congratulations, but it was not enough.
When you look at it all, Knight has to be mentioned with the greats in the coaching profession of all sports. When you mention Casey Stengel in baseball, Bear Bryant in college football, Vince Lombardi and Don Shula in the NFL, Red Auerbach in the NBA and Scotty Bowman in the NHL, Knight has to be in the same breath with John Wooden and Dean Smith among the greats in the business.
To me, Bob Knight is the Chairman of the Boards of the coaching fraternity. As Francis Albert Sinatra said, and Knight did as well, he did it "my way." That song epitomizes his career.