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Tom Crean Begets The Bobby Knight Discussion

The Power of Negative Thinking (And Acting)?

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Chris Trotman

What originally spurred this conversation was the newly released book, "The Power of Negative Thinking", a recent Bobby Knight book about how he approaches things using the negative...and how that's a key to all his success. Maybe the OTE readers aren't exactly the kinds of folks who need self-help or advice books, but it's still pretty interesting to read how Knight prepared some of his legendary squads, acknowledging the teams' limitations and finding ways to win in spite of that.

So I'm reading the book, it's intriguing, Bob Knight is a legend...But I always remember the famous (well, famous in my family) night where I brought a new girlfriend over for dinner and my family got a bit out of hand. arguing over whether Bobby Knight's attitude and coaching methods were commendable or necessary. It was probably inappropriately emotional dinner table conversation with a guest present, but man, Bob Knight got us fired up. My ma argued that being a physically abusive crybaby of a human was no good way to go about life and that to win at all costs doesn't make up for all the terribly mean things Knight said and did throughout his career. My stepdad argued that results are results, Knight's players loved him, he essentially saved Isiah Thomas' life, and, meme-stealing time, 3 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS!! He wasn't paid to be a nice guy after all.

But what pushed this discussion to the OTE front page was the Tom Crean incident this weekend, where Crean channeled his inner Harbaugh/Knight and berated a former Indiana assistant who is at UM now, physically chasing him down post-game to give him the business. That was the action of a highly emotional, uncontrolled SOB, which of course brings us back to Knight.

So let this whole conversation go where it may, be it stories of angry former coaches of yours that you loved/hated, thoughts on Crean or Knight, or anything else you want to talk about. I leave you with a quote from Shaka Smart, the highly impressive VCU coach who again has a monstrously dangerous team that no one wants to play in the NCAA Tourney:

Smart: It's (being positive) the only way to be. I think it's easy as a coach, if you let yourself, to dwell in negativity and frustration because basketball is a game of mistakes and there's going to be mistakes that occur. But I told myself going into the last month or so that I wanted to do process-based coaching. So that's what I've been trying to follow, and not be so worried about the results.