ESPN announcer Bobby Knight has drawn fire for his comments about the NBA and college basketball.
College basketball coaching legend and lightning rod Bob Knight says the NBA has "raped college basketball" by allowing underclassmen to join the professional league.
Knight, an ESPN analyst, made the controversial analogy Tuesday morning on ESPN’s "Mike and Mike" radio show, when he was asked about freshman stars like Andrew Wiggins of Kansas or Jabari Parker of Duke being ready to play in the NBA after just one college season.
The full response from the 73-year-old Knight was as follows:
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"If I were involved with the NBA I wouldn’t want a 19-year-old or a 20-year-old kid, to bring into all the travel and all the problems that exist in the NBA. I would want a much more mature kid. I would want a kid that maybe I’ve been watching on another team and now he’s 21, 22 years old instead of 18 or 19, and I might trade for that kid. On top of it all, the NBA does a tremendous, gigantic disservice to college basketball. It’s as though they’ve raped college basketball in my opinion."
The radio hosts moved on after that response, not asking a follow up of Knight or addressing any part of the comment.
Knight apparently did not learn his lesson about using the word rape casually. In a 1988 interview with Connie Chung, he said that if "rape was inevitable, relax and enjoy it." He later defended his remarks saying they were taken out of context and that there are several definitions of the word ‘rape.’
Knight is known best from his days as coach at Indiana from 1971-2000, and finished his career as the winningest coach in the history of the sport (currently ranks third behind Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim). Knight won three national titles and was named national coach of the year four times while at Indiana, but his penchant for losing his temper and tough love eventually led to his ouster.
He finished his coaching career at Texas Tech, where he coached from 2001-08 before retiring. ESPN hired him as a college basketball analyst in 2008.