Bob Knight

I worked with Bob Knight just once.  It was right after he got fired from coaching the Indiana basketball team, a spot for Minute Maid Orange Juice.  They pulled the spot right after it ran for the first time.  So much for the sense of humor of the American public.  I cast real assistant coaches for the commercial to keep Knight in a comfort zone.  I didn’t think he would put up with actors.  During the breaks, the coaches would gather around Knight, absorbing information.  I had Knight set the plays in the action that took place in front of him.  The players were decent but just SAG extras.  One kid didn’t have a clue and Knight went off on him, showing where he should be on the play.  I told him that it didn’t matter, the players were out of focus, just movement in front of the camera.  Knight didn’t care and went on coaching this poor kid.  Later, I chatted with him during a lull and mentioned a touching story I had heard about a Kentucky player in the fifties.  Knight knew it verbatim.  I asked him how he knew that story.  He said, “It’s a basketball story, isn’t it?”  During the shoot, Knight disappeared for a while.  I asked Austin, my AD, where he was and if he was coming back.  Austin just shrugged.  Knight had just gone to the john but we thought he got fed up with the normal stupidity of a film set and left.  He was his own man.