One of the most disappointing tenures in announcing history is reportedly set to end with a whimper. Jason McIntyre at TBL has multiple sources inside ESPN that say the network will not renew Bob Knight's contract at the end of the college basketball season.
Knight (sorry that's supposed to be Coach Knight or Mr. Knight) has been an ESPN college basketball analyst since 2008 and his departure from coaching. Initially, ESPN praised Knight's hiring as a "compelling listen" and hailed the former coach as a "legend." Knight could be a decent game analyst when he was engaged, but his wealth of knowledge and insight about the game never made it to viewers at home. The only thing that proved to be compelling about Knight's ESPN career was the controversy he created and the material he provided blogs. Knight's public, petulant feud with John Calipari and Kentucky reached ridiculous levels when the former coach wouldn't say the name of the eventual national champion last year. In fact, it was news when an ESPN college basketball analyst finally spoke the word "Kentucky." The mini-controversy exposed the absurd favorability and leeway ESPN provided Knight, who was able to play by his own set of rules.
Knight's other notable moments as an ESPN broadcaster? I can think of three:
And that's it. TBL even notes one source inside ESPN saying the network has gone as far as hiding Knight on unattractive games this season. Knight has mostly called SEC games this year on ESPN2, so there's certainly some legitimacy to that idea. Additionally, his presence across the "family of networks" has been diminished greatly since he had his own SportsCenter segments at the beginning of his analyst career.
Knight's legacy as a broadcaster is one ESPN would rather forget. There couldn't have been many observers who imagined his notoriously irritable personality would translate well to television, but Bristol bent over backwards to bow down to the mystique of The General and his ESPN sweater. The mystique quickly faded as Knight never connected with viewers and he slowly moved out of the college basketball spotlight. It's another lesson that great coaches and players don't always make great analysts.
“@awfulannouncing: Bob Knight may be done at ESPN after this year. http://t.co/Y6RdAheZ7P” @KelvinWelch3
He's forgotten more about bb than all the remaining espn announcers combined. Too bad most of the public doesn't realize this. iMHO
He is an arrogant worthless dude. Treated the media with contempt the whole time he was coaching but when he could cash in, he didn't waste any time. good riddance
“@awfulannouncing: Bob Knight may be done at ESPN after this year. http://t.co/emUfsFEt”......thankfully, rod Gilmore next?
"Hiding knight on unattractive games". “@awfulannouncing: Bob Knight may be done at ESPN after this year. http://t.co/CUqpZ3yw”
@awfulannouncing Pull his schedule from 2012-13 & compare it to his first yr. Should be evident ESPN attempted to hide him.
Hasn't been with Brent since his shot clock mishap “@awfulannouncing: Bob Knight may be done at ESPN after this year http://t.co/2giSxq99”
If this year is 2010, yes. RT@awfulannouncing Bob Knight may be done at ESPN after this year. http://t.co/o4i0s08z
“@awfulannouncing: Bob Knight may be done at ESPN after this year. http://t.co/CGiDHRDA” YAYYY more Bill Walton!
@awfulannouncing: Bob Knight may be done at ESPN after this year. http://t.co/AJhHMIWM<~only about 6 years too late.
This sucks. Knight's probably my favorite ESPN analyst. He was even better last year when he was paired with Musburger.
Knight's best use would have been as a "contributor" to the extensive college basketball properties by breaking down game footage/plays/important moments for use in segments pre-post-/half.
Example: (And I don't know if this is common perception) Gruden is pretty insightful in his QB camp stuff and teaching breakdowns, but hard to tolerate as a real-time analyst.
ESPN should use Knight exclusively in pre-recorded chalk-talk segments breaking down the nuances of a college basketball game. I'd remove Knight from ingame analysis altogether but still utilize that wealth of knowledge. ESPN does it with the NFL, albeit with lesser minds.