Anything and everything in South and Central Texas Basketball is what the slogan is for this Blog. With that in mind, this subject is relevant, I think.
Many years ago, my teenager was in a store with me and witnessed the intolerable. A young boy was disobeying his mother. He was throwing a tantrum. He threw store items, yelled at his mother and basically had his mother in tears. My then 5 or 6 year old daughter watched in amazement. She had never seen a kid act this way. She never seen a kid be ALLOWED to act this way. My baby looked at me and quietly said, "Daddy, that boy needs a spanking". I could not have agreed more!
How is this relevant? Because so many coaches, club and high school, lack the backbone to ensure kids behave, or be mentally strong against pressure. Winning or having the best players has become more important than instilling discipline.
Bob Knight was a coaching tyrant to some. The man choked one of his players. That was wrong. However, his disciplinarian ways helped many. A young Isaiah Thomas was raised by a strong mother in the toughest part of Chicago. Mamma could only do so much to deter her kids from joining the streets. A few of Isaiah's older brothers fell victim the vices of the street. With this in mind, young Isaiah went to a private high school outside of his hood, a school coached by the very strict Gene Pingatore. Thomas thrived in the structure and chose to attend Indiana to play for 'The General' Bobby Knight.
An account in the unauthorized biography of Knight, a disturbing exchange occurred. Isaiah was behaving and playing like the undisciplined kid from the south side of Chicago. Knight crossed a line and reportedly asked Isaiah if he wanted to end of like the rest of the "*******" in his neighborhood. The bleep in this case was a racial slur. Isaiah reportedly cried. He was hurt. Yet, in his own words, he understood the intent of the cruel and inappropriate message. In fact, Isaiah denies that Coach Knight ever used such language, despite numerous players that witnessed the exchange and have reported otherwise. Why would Isaiah lie about the incident? He credits Knight with truly having his well being in mind and instilling a discipline in him that he needed at that time.
- A few local players have a reputation for drinking and partying.